Moulin-à-Vent, a pleasant Beaujolais cru
This AOC red wine takes its name from an authentic windmill, classified as a historical monument, whose restored wings still turn in the heart of the vineyards. In the east of France, it is produced in the north of the Beaujolais vineyards, where the 10 crus of this region are concentrated and of which the Moulin-à-vent appellation is part. It is spread over the communes of Chénas in the Rhône and Romanèche-Thorins in Saône-et-Loire. The moulin-à-vent expresses all the qualities of its grape variety, the black gamay with white juice, the vines having found here a climate and soils particularly adapted to their culture. The winegrowers continue to improve the quality of the wine year after year, helping to make the Moulin-à-vent one of the finest crus in the Beaujolais.
General presentation of the moulin-à-vent
The Moulin-à-Vent appellation is one of the 10 crus of the Beaujolais. It is adjacent to the AOC Chénas to the north and the AOC Fleurie to the south-west. The vineyard is located to the east of Beaujeu, on the border between the Rhône and Saône-et-Loire.
As in the rest of Beaujolais, where red wines dominate, the AOC moulin-à-vent uses exclusively the region's flagship grape variety, Gamay. However, a few accessory grape varieties are authorised, up to a limit of 15%: melon, chardonnay and aligoté.
With the AOC brouilly and côte-de-brouilly, the appellation moulin-à-vent is the only Beaujolais cru not to bear the name of the commune which is at its origin. It is indeed from an authentic grain mill that this wine takes its name. This historic monument is, as it should be, the emblem of this remarkable vineyard.
Characteristics of the windmill
The Moulin-à-vent AOC has several characteristics specific to Gamay, a grape variety that finds here soils and a climate favourable to its cultivation. The wine's colour is an intense purplish red, sometimes evoking dark garnet, sometimes deep ruby. When young, the aromatic palette is dominated by violet and ripe cherry. It becomes more complex with age and is enriched by aromas of iris, faded rose and ripe fruit. They then evolve towards truffles, venison, musk and ambergris.
The red wines of the Moulin-à-vent appellation are tannic and fleshy in the mouth, full-bodied and fine at the same time. They have a good length, are velvety and delicately spicy. These are wines with good ageing potential. On average, a Moulin-à-vent AOC can be kept for 5 to 10 years. The best vintages can easily be aged for 15 years or more.
How to taste a Moulin-à-vent
A red wine from the Moulin-à-vent appellation is best enjoyed at a temperature of 15-16°. It goes well with many dishes, especially red meat dishes: grilled beef fillet, chateaubriand, boeuf bourguignon, tournedos, pot-au-feu... A moulin-à-vent also goes well with game: hare stew, roast coq de bruyère, thrush pâté, braised pheasant... Finally, it is an excellent wine to accompany a cheese platter, especially if it has character: beaufort, saint-marcellin, camembert, epoisses, munster, neufchâtel...