Le Nouveau Beaujolais 2020 par Armand Heitz

Meeting with Hélène Cellar

Posted by Armand Heitz on

Hélène Postadjian works at the Cave des Tournons, located in Charnay-lès-Mâcon. A cellar and also a wine bar with a superb selection, more than 1000 references, among which Burgundy and Mâconnais are well represented. Hélène regularly publishes on Instagram (@helenecellar) and Vivino (Hélène postadjian Kowarski) her "taste memories of a wine merchant", precise and well-argued notes from her tastings.

The "Beaujolais Nouveau" interview

Can you describe how you taste this Beaujolais Nouveau?

I taste this Beaujolais Nouveau first alone, to be attentive to all the aromas, in my universal Zalto glass (which accompanies me for all my tastings, or one of its brothers from other ranges). Then, after having discovered it from every angle, I will associate it with spring rolls and cheese. I find that it develops a lot of power on the nose with dominating spices. The mouth is very concentrated, it looks more like a Cru than a Beaujolais Nouveau, by its extraction. But that's changing.

How do you find the label?

I think the label looks a lot like the typography of Armand Heitz's other cuvées! I find it young, it brings out a lot of dynamism by its name too, which is not "Beaujolais Nouveau" but "New Beaujolais", which fits quite well with my impressions in the mouth which are more vintage than primeur! And which promise an interesting future for this cuvée...

Beaujolais Nouveau dégustation Hélène Cellar

You work as a wine merchant at the Cave des Tournons in Mâcon, how are you coping with this difficult period?

We are lucky to work unlike other businesses. This period is special, where no day is alike, where there is no real truth for commercial activity, it is up and down. But we are not complaining! Beaujolais Nouveau, contrary to what we imagined, was very successful. The customers, who usually celebrated it in bars and restaurants, did not forget the wine merchants and continued to perpetuate the traditions!

You post your tastings on Instagram and Vivino in particular. Do you find that sharing via digital is complementary to sharing in real life?

Yes, I think it's complementary, apart from direct sharing with customers and enthusiasts, when you can meet them. Social networks play an important role in the lives of young people. I find that for wine, beyond conveying a rather elitist image, social networks allow beginners, but with curiosity, to start a dialogue. Because it unfortunately turns out that people are sometimes afraid to push the door of a cellar because "they don't know anything about it". Networks make it possible to share by "removing the guilt" from people for not knowing much about it! We all start there, the important thing is to have curiosity, and in this Instagram and Vivino are good ways to convey the culture of wine which is very significant in France!

How did your passion for wine come about?

My passion for wine came from my father, a great wine lover! I quickly tasted it, from the age of 15 (only by smelling or soaking my lips and spitting of course). At first, I preferred sweet wines (I think easier to approach for a novice palate) then my curiosity quickly led me to alwaystasting different wines.From there, the passion was born, and I then started training as a wine merchant in 2017 And I don't think I'll stop at the wine merchant's job alone, well I hope so!

Juliénas cru du Beaujolais photo vigne

How do you view the image of Beaujolais wines today?

I find it to be a very dynamic region that will continue to surprise us in the years to come (and those past of course). There are a lot of very well made natural wines. Aging and complex wines. There are large shades of Gamay vinified by passionate winegrowers who love their region! Small anecdote, a year ago, a friend sent me a bottle blind… I tasted it, told me that it was an old Pinot, surely from the terroirs of the Côte de Nuits… I I believed in it, but no, it was a Morgon 1995 from Lapierre! Impressive, incredibly fine, it pinoted, it had the fineness of old Burgundy reds... like what, never say that a Gamay does not age! All that to say that the wines of Beaujolais had many surprises in store!

What is your favorite Beaujolais appellation?

Impossible question! I like a lot of Beaujolais crus! Morgon, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Brouilly… in short, I find that they all have their charm, their typicality that I cannot classify… For example, you learn to appreciate Chiroubles when you discover the terroir and some very steep plots, you find a lot of finesse with a certain austerity that does not lack charm! I will be called indecisive here, because to choose is to give up… 😇

Juliénas appellation Beaujolais vigne photo Armand Heitz

The Beaujolais Nouveau tradition for you is?

For me, these are moments of sharing (which were lost this year, but to find each other again next year?). Festive moments in restaurants or bars that bring together fans from all walks of life! For me, this tradition is unifying and festive. And I hope it will continue to last for a long time!

Please, this one?

Having tasted some new Beaujolais, this New Beaujolais is exceptional. I find aniseed aromas on the nose, with a rather impressive concentration! The texture on the palate is really silky, where concentrated black fruits dominate and spicy to perfection on the finish. Blindfolded, I would never have told you it was a scoop, that's for sure!

Finally, do you have a miracle cure for the day after Beaujolais Nouveau?

My miracle cure? Water, lots of water, with a little black tea and we start the day again as if nothing had happened!

Interview by Fabrice Pastre


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