Romuald Valot (Biosophiste)
Every now and then a wine you try leaves you a little intrigued and passionate and this often leads into exploration. And so it was on a humid Saturday afternoon in June this year that I was standing on a sidewalk in Tokyo with Gio and Marco from Fratelli Paradiso & 10 William St, a wine list in my hand.
We wanted something to refresh and wound up with one of the sommeliers recommendations, a chilled bottle of Beaujolais from a producer that I hadn't had before, Romuald Valot.
I loved it, it was a sensual delight - pretty rose-hip and cranberry aromas - fresh, bright and stony cherry fruit and the lithe and crispy mouthfeel that the best exponents of cold carbonic (no SO2) fermentation are able to achieve. Who was this guy??
Already intrigued, I began to explore using Google and found just about nothing! There were a few pictures and some bottles available retail in France but little else. I eventually communicated with him and visited him recently; he wasn't easy to find and it was wet and cold but eventually we made our way to his cellar in the Beaujolais where he fashions the kind of gleaming, jewel like artisan wine that I travel the world for.
He farms his land without chemicals and with a plough and winch to turn the soil - in the winery it is very basic too, reliant on the tacit knowledge of generations of experience and observation. This combined with great terroir combine to produce superb wine. These too are rare and hard to find, lucky we got in quickly.