Domaine Les Gryphées

Le Bois d’Oignt | Beaujolais
 

Domaine Les Gryphees BeaujolaisYou can’t ignore the “gryphées,” or seashell fossils, that crunch underfoot as you walk through Pierre Durdilly’s vineyards in Moulin-à-Vent, as if the ocean were just over the next gentle hill.

It’s this unique terroir, with its mineral complexity, that sets the family’s wines apart from other more rustic bottles from the region. How this terroir is expressed in their supple, complex Moulin-à-Vent is exactly what inspired us the first time we tasted at this modest family cellar.

While our history with the Durdilly family goes back at least two decades, today we welcome the family’s third winemaking generation, looking to take the estate in new, exciting directions. Guillaume, Pierre Durdilly’s son, is a keen talent and an eager learner.

He’s also inspired his father to expand the domaine, acquiring vineyards in other Beaujolais cru villages in an attempt to help preserve the region’s many outstanding older-vine vineyards (many of which have been abandoned by winemakers retiring or sadly, giving up the craft entirely). With families like the Durdillys looking to preserve the “patrimoine” of Beaujolais, the region’s history and traditions are secure!

FARMING & WINEMAKING

The father-son team of Pierre and Guillaume Durdilly tend their older vines sustainably, avoiding chemical inputs and adhering to organic treatments whenever necessary. 

Vineyards in general are found on very steep, granite-rich hillsides, the classic terroir of Beaujolais. The family likes to plant beneficial herbs between vineyard rows, to both prevent erosion and combat pests.

Grapes are harvested by hand and fermented (usually with semi-carbonic maceration, a traditional practice in Beaujolais) in either cement or stainless steel tanks. Wines are often aged in either large, older foudre or tank, depending on the cru, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

ROSÉ WINES
Beaujolais Rosé
A perfect pink wine born from the same noble granite slopes as the estate’s Moulin-a-Vent cru. Wild strawberries, pomegranate, a hint of spice. Just the thing for summer!

 

 

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RED WINES
Beaujolais Rouge 'Cuvée Le Paquet'
Estate vineyards are located on steep hillsides at 1,050 feet and higher in altitude; ‘Paquet’ (parcel or package in French) is a selection of vines from sandy, clay-rich soils. Silky, smooth, seductive: a refined Gamay wine with a good amount of spice and soul.

 

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)GRYPHEES_paquet_web
Beaujolais Rouge 'Balmes'

In local patois, a “balmes” is a slope. This steeply graded vineyard was planted nearly 100 years ago, its ancient vines producing a handful of bunches each vintage. But what a treasure in Beaujolais! Excellent terroir (a mix of limestone, clay and the classic “pierres dorees,” the mineral-rich, golden chalk that characterizes much of Beaujolais) plus very old vines places this anything-but-simple Beaujolais Rouge in cru territory. Simply a treasure in great Gamay!

 

 

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Fleurie

A special selection of older-vine Gamay fruit (60+ years) from a lieu-dit called ‘Les Grands Vieres,’ this Fleurie is a picture-perfect example of the elegance and silky texture for which this cru Beaujolais village is best known. Waves of pink and purple flowers, tons of spice, a gorgeous, balanced and juicy core of summer-ripe fruit. The family credits the vineyard’s particularly sandy soils for the wine’s extraordinary texture. Aged in older foudre and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

 

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Juliénas

A suave, purple-flowered and lightly spiced Gamay wine, showing all the finesse and poise for which this cru Beaujolais village is known. All tank made, to highlight every bit of ruddy, ripe and lively red fruit.

 

 

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Morgon

A shining example of the intensity and structure of cru Morgon. Older vines deliver concentrated, spiced fruit, grown on a combination of classic Beaujolais granite and schist (slate), unusual for the area. This extra-special terroir works to give the wine its complexity and structure, says winemaker Guillaume Durdilly. Gorgeous if decanted today, but we challenge you to stash a few bottles away in a cool cellar to discover what cru Morgon can really do! Aged in older foudre, unfined and unfiltered.

 

 

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Moulin à Vent

An elegant Moulin, with suave tannins and bright red berry fruit. Pure Gamay, grown on some of the appellation’s finest terroirs, rich in chalky, seashell fossils. This jolt of mineral energy results in a refined, pure Moulin with great staying power and cellar potential.

 

 

  • Download fact sheet  (PDF)GRYPHEES_moulinavent_web
Established: 1970s
Winemakers: Pierre Durdilly (father) and Guillaume (son)
Region: France • Beaujolais • Le Bois d’Oignt
Vineyard size: 35 acres

PRACTICES SUSTAINABLE FARMING

Domaine Les Gryphees Beaujolais France North Berkeley Imports