Louis Latour seeks solutions in Beaujolais

6th April, 2012 by Gabriel Stone

Maison Louis Latour is stepping up its activity in Beaujolais as a solution to the increasing pressure on Burgundy’s Pinot Noir supplies.

The move includes investment in the new appellations of Coteaux Bourguignons and Bourgogne Gamay, both introduced to the Beaujolais region this year.

Although regulations for both appellations permit a maximum of 15% Pinot Noir to be used in the blend alongside the Beaujolais region’s core Gamay grape variety, Louis-Fabrice Latour (left), the seventh generation to head his family’s Beaune-based grower and negociant, is convinced of the important role Pinot Noir can play in the region.

“There is big demand for Pinot Noir and Burgundy is not big enough,” he observed, pointing to increasing global demand for the style as he warned: “In the years to come, Pinot Noir is going to go up in price.”

Turning first to the Bourgogne Gamay project, which is expected to retail for below £10, Louis-Fabrice explained: “We’re not saying this is an alternative to Burgundy, but we need to be able to go to retailers and say ‘We can show you a Bourgogne Gamay from Maison Louis Latour, which is more fruit driven at a very good price’.”

Under the regulations of the Bourgogne Gamay AOC, the Gamay grapes used must come exclusively from the region’s 10 crus. The 2011 wine, which will be produced under the Louis Latour label rather than that of its Beaujolais subsidiary Henry Fessy, will see 85% of its blend come from Fleurie, Chénas and Régnié, with the remaining 15% provided by Pinot Noir

Outlining his plans for the Coteaux Bourguignons project, which will not see any wines released for a couple of years, Louis-Fabrice maintained: “I am a great believer that we can make very good Pinot Noir in the south of Beaujolais.”

Pointing to the “limestone, right soil and climate” of the area known as Terres Dorées, Louis-Fabrice explained that the company was focused on buying vineyards at 350-400m altitude in order to compensate for the region’s southerly location just 20 kilometres from Lyon.

With much of the area currently dedicated to producing Beaujolais Nouveau or village-level wines, Louis Fabrice acknowledged the commercial pressures facing many producers as a result of the low prices their wines tend to command.

“It’s either us or they build houses,” he remarked, insisting: “We want to contribute to the revival of Beaujolais.”

For the early stage of this project, Louis-Fabrice outlined plans to buy “a few dozen hectares in the years to come”, as well as working under contract with local growers.

With these Coteaux Bourguignons wines expected to retail at a slightly cheaper price than the company’s Bourgogne Gamay, this latest move will fill an important price gap in the company’s portfolio.

“The Ardeche is a very strong base for our whites, but we certainly don’t have enough of a base for our reds,” elaborated Louis-Fabrice of his firm’s entry level wines.

Although Maison Latour’s focus for this project is restricted to the south of Beaujolais, the Coteaux Bourguignons appellation extends as far north as Auxerrois, replacing the former AOC Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire.

At the time of the new AOC’s announcement, Burgundy’s trade body the BIVB emphasised its aim of making the region “a sought-after appellation, no longer one to fall back on.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

European Brands Sales Manager, Field Sales Managers and Executives

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, Brighton, E Sussex/Kent, Cornwall & Devon, GB

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 3rd May 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more