This is a Chardonnay for Chenin lovers. Grown in the south of Beaujolais, Maxime harvested the fruit for this wine from a stunning vineyard surrounded by orchards and woodlands. The soil has a beautiful red tinge, due to its unique minerals and imparts a stunning, stoney precision to the wine.
On the nose this smells like a freshly baked apple crumble, with a side portion of apricots and peaches. The palate has incredible texture and mouthwatering acidity, that balances perfectly with zippy citrus, stone fruits and subtle ginger spice. Uniquely delicious!
The story of 'Jean Max' is an intriguing tale. Originally from a small Beaujolais village, Maxime Barrot set his sights on winemaking from a young age. After five years of studying in Burgundy, he decided against returning home. Instead, Maxime took off to travel the world and eventually settled in Chile.
It was here, of all places, that he became captivated with the natural approach of Beaujolais' 'Gang of Four' (a group of four winemakers who pioneered natural winemaking in the region). One of the Gangs disciples (Antoinue Luyt, who worked for Marcel Lapierre) was now making wine in Chile, and it was with his own protégé, Roberto Henriquez, that Maxime hung his hat;
'It was therefore in Chile, that I was able to learn this unique know-how, based on rigour and emotion. Everything clicked, and I decided to take the plunge.'
The plunge took Maxime home from Chile. Back to Beaujolais to work with Yvon Metras (are there any legendary natural winemakers that Maxime hasn't worked with?) and slowly, but surely, start his own project. The 2019 vintage has really put 'Jean Max' on the map; producing a tiny production of extremely thoughtful, high-quality wines. These are labelled as 'Vin de France' as Maxime made them in the cellars of good friend Eric Texier, in the nearby Rhone.