Julien Sunier

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Country of Origin: France
Location: Beaujolais
People: Julien Sunier, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Julien Sunier (1.5 L) 2015 Fleurie AOC Login In Stock
Julien Sunier (1.5 L) 2015 Morgon AOC Login In Stock
Julien Sunier (1.5 L) 2015 Regnie AOC Login In Stock
Julien Sunier 2015 Fleurie AOC Login WA (91-93) In Stock
Julien Sunier 2015 Morgon AOC Login WA (91-93) In Stock
Julien Sunier 2014 Regnie AOC Login AG 91 WA 91 In Stock
Julien Sunier 2015 Regnie AOC Login WA (89-91) In Stock

Media Links
The New York Times: Easygoing Overachievers

The domaine of Julien Sunier is one of the most exciting new tiny properties to come out of the Beaujolais in recent years. Originally from Dijon, Burgundy, Sunier’s family was not in the wine trade. His mother in fact made her living cutting hair, and one of her regular clients happened to (auspiciously) be Christophe Roumier.

When Julien graduated from school, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, so he decided to go work with Roumier, which started his passion for wine. He spent his early twenties globe-trotting on the international wine route. His travels took him to California and New Zealand, allowing him to both surf and work harvest in both hemispheres. When he returned to Burgundy, Julien worked alongside winemakers Nicolas Potel in Nuits Saint-Georges and Jean-Claude Rateau in Beaune, where he solidified a passion for organic and biodynamic viticulture.

Following his stint in Burgundy, Julien spent five years managing a large negociant where he worked with growers in all of the 10 Cru Beaujolais villages. This work proved to be invaluable as it gave him a strong understanding of the various microclimates throughout the region.

In the spring of 2008, Julien established a domaine more inline with his ideas of organic viticulture and natural winemaking. He secured three hectares of densely planted, old-vine, hilltop parcels in the Cru villages of Fleurie, Morgon and Régnié. Currently, he is converting all of his vineyards to organic viticulture (six acres are certified Agriculture Biologique, 4 acres are in organic conversion, and the remaining 10 acres are meadow). Harvesting entirely by hand, Julien does whole cluster, indigenous yeast fermentations in concrete vats at low temperatures in an effort to preserve fresh fruit flavors and a delicate tannin structure. After the alcoholic fermentations are complete, the fruit is slowly and gently pressed over a 24-hour period using an ancient vertical press Julien acquired in the Côte D’Or. The wines are then aged for up to 8 months in a combination of 3 - 9 year old Burgundy barrels that he gets from Christophe Roumier and stainless steel tanks.

The resulting wines are exceptionally pure, elegant and without artifice. They are at once bright, floral and high-toned but with an ethereal texture and a beguiling, long finish. While you would be hard pressed to try and delay the immediate gratification of drinking the wines young, they have the depth and balanced structure to reward medium-term cellaring.

Wine Advocate 6/2016
"Julien Sunier seems to be one of the main drivers for the revolution that is sweeping through Beaujolais at the moment. He is an outgoing and outspoken winemaker, even predisposed to criticize his fellow vignerons' wines when I was tasting them at his winery high up on the hills in northern Beaujolais. If he ever tires of making wine he would make a fine if formidable wine critic. As usual he was in disarmingly candid form... "We cropped at 30 hl/ha in 2015," he told me. "I didn't want to go for power like in 2009 and 2010 because I am bored of that. The entire crop was aged in 10- to 15-year-old barrels. I don't care about color, I don't care about a lot of things these days. My wines should be drunk in the first 5 years." Julien Sunier's wines are certainly much more on the fresher, leaner side - terroir expressive wines that care little for the intensity of fruit and aim more for balance and tension. While many winemakers professed that 2015 was a bona fide great Beaujolais vintage, Julien was much more sanguine and admitted that he has a preference for the 2014s, undoubtedly a growing season that is more to his style. Still, that did not preclude him from creating some very fine and delicious 2015s, even if he is cooler about them than others."

Reviews

  • Julien Sunier 2014 Regnie AOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 91 (8/1/2016)

    Youthful violet. An array of fresh red and dark fruit and floral aromas carry a spicy overtone and a hint of smoky minerals. Juicy and energetic, offering gently sweet black raspberry and spicecake flavors that deepen on the back half. Fine-grained tannins build slowly on a long, focused finish that echoes the mineral and floral notes.
  • Julien Sunier 2014 Regnie AOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91 (6/13/2016)

    The 2014 Regnie has been bottled as a sulphite and non-sulphite version, Julien pouring the former for me at the domaine (the latter is more for the domestic market). It has an attractive bouquet with red cherries, cranberry leaf, copper piping and light orange rind aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, perhaps the spiciest of Julien Sunier's trio of wines this year and with very fine persistence.
  • Julien Sunier 2015 Fleurie AOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: (91-93) (6/13/2016)

    The 2015 Fleurie has a little more fruit intensity compared to the Régnié and the Morgon this year: wild strawberry and raspberry, a touch of wild heather developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, fresh and crisp with superb focus, plenty of mineralité here with a long and very precise finish. This may be the pick of Julien's wines this vintage although all three hit the spot.
  • Julien Sunier 2015 Morgon AOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: (91-93) (6/13/2016)

    The 2015 Morgon has a fresh bouquet with attractive red cherry and raspberry fruit, a little leafiness here, cold stone coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition, nicely focused, less fruit-driven than many other Morgon 2015s but it compensates with superb delineation and more terroir expression. There is a tang of salinity towards the finish that lingers long in the mouth.
  • Julien Sunier 2015 Regnie AOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: (89-91) (6/13/2016)

    The 2015 Regnie, which had racked 2 weeks previously and has 2 gms/l SO2 before bottling, has an intriguing bouquet with gravelly notes infusing the red berry fruit. This is nicely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, nicely structured with a keen line of acidity. A little more masculine in style than other Regnies, showing a little more structure with a brisk finish.