Thillardon

Thillardon Paul Henri Thillardon

Paul Henri Thillardon (32) is one of the youngest winemakers in Beaujolais. Together with his sister Aude (office) and brothers Jean Babtist (vineyard) and Charles (co-partner), he manages a 12-hectare wine estate in the wine village of Chénas.

They rented their first vineyard, which they organically cultivated. When they were able to buy the plot in 2008, they were immediately certified organic. In 2012 they bought the "climat" (vineyard) Chassignol, right behind the house in the steep hills. They have now received the biodynamic certificate for more than six years.

The terrace of the Thillardon domain offers a wide view of the vineyards of St. Amour and Julienas. In the distance you can even see the vineyards of Bugey, the Jura and the majestic Alps. The ground in which the Gamay vines of Paul Henri are, is between 250 and 350 million years old. It consists mainly of pink granite and quartz. Some plots consist of a deep brown clay-like surface, called "manganaise".

Organic grows

The Beaujolais region has long been dominated by unprecedented production figures. The older generation does not understand how the young guard manages to keep their heads above water with wine companies of 5 to 15 hectares in size and yields per hectare of only 35 hectoliters. In "their" time, the scale was many times greater and the yields often double.

Encouraged by the success of visionary winegrowers such as Jean-Louis Dutraive from Fleurie and Marcel Lapierre from Morgon, biological working is becoming increasingly rapid. It is usually the young winegrowers who take the step from conventional to organic.

Horses

The young guard seeks each other to discuss wine-growing matters. There are regular dinners where winemakers such as Bonne Tonne (Morgon), Cornin (Mâcon) and Thillardon (Chénas) open many good bottles together to test each other's opinions. They also exchange information about the use of horses in the vineyards. That seems simple, but it certainly isn't. Working with horses is largely forgotten in agriculture and horticulture. Marcel Grillet (Morgon) therefore lends his horses to Thillardon to practice.

Slim, elegant wine

Paul Henri makes an average of around 40,000 bottles per year. That seems a lot, but it is a drop in the ocean of the total production in the Beaujolais area of ​​a sloppy 190,000,000 bottles, lots of zeros! Paul Henri himself says that he works 98% of the time in the vineyard and only 2% in the cellar. In the past all picked grapes were stripped of their stalk and the fermentation took place at approximately 20 degrees Celsius. Since 2015, complete trusses have entered the fermentation vats and the temperature is kept low; about nine degrees. This makes the fermentation process so slow that the fruit is beautifully preserved in the wine. The Chénas of Thillardon is therefore not a large, robust wine, but rather slim, refined and elegant. Paul Henri is advised by Jacques Nieupoort. The man who also assists the world famous Henri Jayer and the aforementioned Marcel Lapierre.

Fall pressure

In the cellar, the "manipulation" of the fruit is kept to an absolute minimum. There is no pump involved. All the juice and young wine is moved by gravity, called "fall pressure". Due to the cool fermentation, that process takes considerably longer than elsewhere. At Thillardon, fermentation lasts an average of a full month. Elsewhere that is a week.

The grapes ferment using the "Maceration Carbonique" technique. The grapes soak in the juice under a protective blanket of carbon dioxide. The fermentation only really comes loose when the lid of the fermentation tank is opened and oxygen can be added. Striking here is the lack of sulphite during winemaking. Ultimately, only 15 milligrams are used during the "crossing" of the young wine from one tank to another.

Wood

Once the wine is ready, part of it matures in sturdy concrete "cuves". Another part is aged in oak barrels of 225 liters (from Remond tonnlerie) or in "500 liter demi muids" made by barrel makers such as Sequin Moreau or François Frères. This gives the wines a feminine style.

There are wines from different vineyard plots that are not mixed together. Vineyards such as Les Blémonts, Les Carrières or Chassignol all have their own unique character. They are masterful wines.

Moulin a Vent 2017
Article code F54E004
€27,95
From the part of Moulin-à-Vent that borders Chénas, this is a lighter style of Moulin. This wine is exceptional, expressive and reveals aromas of rose petals, candied licorice, cherry and forest fruits. Derived from the lieux dits of Michelons and Pinson,
Thillardon
Moulin a Vent 2017
From the part of Moulin-à-Vent that borders Chénas, this is a lighter style of Moulin. This wine is exceptional, expressive and reveals aromas of rose petals, candied licorice, cherry and forest fruits. Derived from the lieux dits of Michelons and Pinson,
€27,95
Chenas "Les Chassignol" 2017
Article code F54E003
€37,95
Let yourself be seduced by the aromas of this Chénas Chassignol, with an emphasis on aromas of red and black fruit, floral notes and herbs. On the palate the wine shows volume, with good depth. The tannins are fine and give elegance to the whole. Spicier,
Thillardon
Chenas "Les Chassignol" 2017
Let yourself be seduced by the aromas of this Chénas Chassignol, with an emphasis on aromas of red and black fruit, floral notes and herbs. On the palate the wine shows volume, with good depth. The tannins are fine and give elegance to the whole. Spicier,
€37,95
Chenas "les Blemonts" 2017
Article code F54E002
€28,95
Like all the other wines of the Thillardon brothers, the 2017 Chénas Les Blemonts doubles its excellent performance, bursting with the scents of cherries, wild berries, rose petals, orange peel and herbs. On the palate, it is medium to full-bodied, satiny
Thillardon
Chenas "les Blemonts" 2017
Like all the other wines of the Thillardon brothers, the 2017 Chénas Les Blemonts doubles its excellent performance, bursting with the scents of cherries, wild berries, rose petals, orange peel and herbs. On the palate, it is medium to full-bodied, satiny
€28,95
Chenas "les Carrieres" 2018
Article code F54E001
€24,95
A very elegant Beaujolais wine. The purity of the grapes is amazing. The minerality and length of the palette are not so common. It is a wonderfully expressive wine. The scent gives variations of mainly red fruit focused on cherries and raspberries spiced
Thillardon
Chenas "les Carrieres" 2018
A very elegant Beaujolais wine. The purity of the grapes is amazing. The minerality and length of the palette are not so common. It is a wonderfully expressive wine. The scent gives variations of mainly red fruit focused on cherries and raspberries spiced
€24,95