Moulin-a-Vent, Chateau du Moulin-a-Vent, FR, 2011

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Located in the southernmost tip of the Burgundy region, Moulin-à-Vent was one of the first appellations awarded AOC status in 1936. Château du Moulin-à-Vent, named for the 300-year-old stone windmill atop the hill of Les Thorins, dates back to 1732, when it was called Château des Thorins. Today, the estate encompasses 37 hectares (91.4 acres) of the appellation’s finest climats — Les Vérillats, Le Champ de Cour, La Rochelle — planted to Gamay Noir averaging 40 years in age. The underlying granite soil is rich in iron oxide, copper and manganese, which may account for the wines’ aging potential.


Since 2009, under the new ownership of the Parinet family, investment in the winemaking facilities and the vineyards has resulted in plot-specific signature wines expressing the individual characteristics of each exceptional terroir. “Raised in older barriques as well as tank and sourced primarily from the Les Caves, La Roche and Le Moulin-a-Vent lieux-dits, Chateau du Moulin-a-Vent’s “grand vin” 2011 Moulin-a-Vent – which I last tasted from tank soon after its assemblage and just ahead of its end-of-year bottling – features richly ripe black raspberry with distilled framboise and holly berry overtones. A bite of black pepper and clove adds to the piquancy on a firm palate and reinforces the spicy influence of toasty (albeit here previously used) barrels. While less alluringly savory or floral (for now, at least) than its ostensibly lesser “Les Terrasses du Chateau” sibling, this undeniably musters more sheer intensity and persistence, its juiciness outlasting any oak influence. Look for fine performance through 2016.”

Wine Advocate: 91