One simply needs to read the comment section in Jamie Goode’s profile on Yvon Metras to understand why these wines are difficult to come by and might also help us understand why a winemaker so idolised by the industry has become rather reclusive.
Yvon Metras should be considered a contemporary and equal peer to those referred to by American importer Kermit Lynch as the “gang of four” in Beaujolais (Thevenet, Foillard, Breton, and Lapierre), and is in fact now understood by some as being the gang of five, including Metras. Regardless of the semantics, Yvon Metras was inspired like the others by the teachings of Jules Chauvet and Jacques Neauport, and set off on a career in winemaking without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or additions in the cellar.
Today he’s yet to retire, and is still producing wines reminiscent of that inspired epoch. He focuses on polyculture in the vineyard, now having brought in sheep to his domaine which roam the vines in the winter, and in the cellar has employed the same lightness of touch since the onset of the project.
Because of his affiliated history with those now immortalised as winemaking legends, everybody seems to want a piece of Yvon. The reality is that in farming just six hectares of vines, his wines are in constantly short supply. And unfortunately, this demanding market often sees his wines being sold and consumed far before they’ve reached their optimum maturity.
To consume a wine from Metras is to be a part of the rich history of winemaking in Beaujolais, to see it through a lens of time past. We’re always happy to see the wines of Metras grace our shelves, but we beg of you: cellar these wines, let them breathe a bit before drinking them, and whatever you do, please don’t ask this man for a cellar visit.