Chiroubles AOC is the highest altitude of the ten Beaujolais crus. It comprises the single commune of Chiroubles, in the hills north-west of Morgon AOC and south-west of Fleurie AOC, bordering both. The town’s most famous son, the ampelographer Victor Pulliat (b.1827), who made advances in grafting and understanding grape ripeness levels, has a festival dedicated to him. The appellation dates from 1996.
Vineyard area & wine production: 1998 18,315hl from 346ha (Clive Coates MW: 1990, p.184). | 2002 20,633hl from 376ha (Guide Hachette des Vins 2004, p.161).
Terroir: The commune itself lies at nearly 400 metres. The vineyards form a circle around the town. The soil comprises ‘pure granite [sandy granite] mixed with a fine, pale clay called smectite,’ (Andrew Jefford: 2002, p.110).
Wine style: ‘Chiroubles can sometimes be a difficult call; its height means a perpetual struggle for ripeness, and its fugative, piercing charm does not always travel well,’ (Andrew Jefford: 2002, p.112). Smooth. Aromas of violets. ‘Light, fragrant,’ (Oz Clarke: 2015, p.90). ‘Develop early, like a soft, more gently fruity Fleurie, overwhelmingly seductive, very popular in France, and consequently expensive,’ (Clive Coates MW: 1990, p.184-5).