Domaine Manoir du Carra is located in the small town of Denice, south of Burgundy and in the heart of the Beaujolais area. The property dates back to 1850, and has been bequeathed from father to son for five generations. It is now owned by Jean-Noël Sambardier and his wife.
The philosophy of the family has always been based on the practice of a viticulture attentive to and respectful of the environment.The working methods employed are simple, effective and adapted as wine making methods which respect the tradition, without neglecting the interest of certain technological advances.
In 1918, Jean-Marie Sambardier enters the field as a worker at the winery. Assisted by his son John, they endeavor to develop all the vineyard.
In 1962, Jean Sambardier decides to buy the entire farm to start his own production and diversify appellations. The purchase is done in "viager" - a system of payment where the buyer usually pays about 30% up front and then a monthly fee until the death of the seller.
In 1972, Jean-Noël Sambardier returns to the field determined to continue the tradition while developing the business. Frederic, his eldest son, joins him in 1999 after a strong and rewarding experience of wine making and distributing in the United States. The other brother, Damien, joined them in 2000, after having made many great wines at Domaine Laroche in Chablis.
Measuring four hectares (about 10 acres) in 1962, the area of the vineyard is now about 34 hectares (84 aces) and is home to different appellations. Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, Brouilly, Julienas, Moulin à Vent, Fleurie and Beaujolais Blanc now provide the reputation and fame of the estate well beyond its borders.
A shared family passion from father to son, each member of the Sambardier family knew, over the generations, that each would bring his touch, experience and expertise to shape the character of the wines produced at the property. Today, it is with an eye to the future that Frederic and Damien Sambardier work to develop the estate.
At Manoir du Carra, they are convinced that an understanding of the vine, in respect to biodiversity and natural balance, is essential to preserve the soil and better respect the environment. Their goal is vines that are self-sufficient in their environment.
Proud of an ancestral tradition, Manoir du Carra is committed to harvesting all plots by hand. Manual harvesting may cost more, but, in terms of quality, the results are incomparable. After harvesting and sorting, the grapes are then sent to tanks for 4-18 days of fermentation, depending on the type of wine desired. Winemaking is conducted without the addition of sulfur and with meticulous temperature control.
30 hectares (74.10 acres) total, divided along the North-South axis between Beaujolais A.O.C (10 ha= 24.70 acres) and Beaujolais-Villages A.O.C. (20 ha=49.40 acres). The Sambardiers own 50 vineyard plots. The vines are 50-100 years old. Yields are 55 hl/ha.
Parcels in the lieu-dit "Combiaty", within the village of St Etienne la Varenne. The soils are dry, made of pink granite which gives the wine its tipicity. The average age of the vines is 50 years. Yield is 45-50hl/ha Manual harvest; Aging on the lees in foudre for 3-4 months; Slight filtration.
"Bright violet color. High-pitched, mineral-tinged aromas of black raspberry and candied lavender. Spicy and precise in the mouth, offering zesty red and dark berry flavors that flesh out slowly on the back half. Shows very good focus and energy, with the mineral nuance gaining strength on the finish, which features dusty tannins and a touch of peppery spices. - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (March 2018), 91 pts
2016 Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Cru Brouilly - 90 PTS - WE
"The sector known as Combiaty lies in the southern part of the Brouilly appellation. This wine made from 50-year-old vines is soft and ripe in the classic style of Brouilly. Crisp acidity gives a red-cherry-flavored lift. Drink this wine now. - Roger Voss" - Wine Enthusiast (March 2018), 90 pts
2015 Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Cru Brouilly - GREAT VALUE - WP
"This sprightly red offers black-cherry flavors and a hint of smoke, then reveals an enticing citrusy finish. It’s delicious now but should improve further in bottle over the next few years." - Washington Post (January 2017) - GREAT VALUE "Four ways to enjoy a very good vintage of Beaujolais"
"The Terre de Combiaty is fruit forward and delicious. It has a soft and silky palate with good density of fresh red fruit, excellent balance, and a lengthy finish." - International Wine Review (August 2016), 91 pts
"Limpid ruby. Fresh red and dark berry aromas, along with suggestions of musky earth and dried flowers. Fleshy and broad on entry and then tighter in the middle, offering bitter cherry and cassis flavors sharpened by a peppery nuance. Fine-grained tannins shape the finish, which hangs on with good, spicy tenacity. - Josh Raynolds" - Vinous (January 2017), 89 pts