ROMAIN DES GROTTES, SAINT-GERMAIN NUELLES, BEAUJOLAIS

We drove through Burgundy to Romain's place, on warm day in August 2018. Greeted with a beer that he'd made from a patch of rye that he cultivates, it was a quite perfect way to start a trip through the Beaujolais region. Romain is a distinctive and incredibly friendly person who has forged a unique path through the world of wine. He had no formal training, but felt his own way to working the way he does now. You can read a great account of this on the not drinking poison site.


We wanted to visit Romain after drinking a bottle of his acid-driven, angular Brut De Cuve bought from Paris a few years ago. Like most of his wines it is bottled essentially as a primeur, but tends to settle and develop in the bottle to something more composed. His calling card recently though has been his phenomenally successful soft drink L'Antidote, a blend of Gamay juice, botanicals, apple and ginger. Based on the profile of his unusual 6% off dry Pet Nat Petit Coin De Paradis, it is a brilliant creation.
Romain is a winemaker without pretension, skilled, intuitive and incredibly hard-working, but not tied to any pre-concieved ideas of what wine should be. Every year he makes inventive, often remarkable wines that challenge and thrill in equal measure.