Like all good wines The Thirsty Cyclist began with a barrel. In 2015, Tom Keville-Davies, aka The Hungry Cyclist, was searching for a good, easy-drinking wine to serve to guests at his Cycling Lodge in Burgundy. Collaborating with good friends and local winemakers Chris & Lucie Santini, they made their first barrel of Beaujolais-Lantignié.
This juicy Beaujolais, from organic vineyards in the village of Lantignié, was soon lapped up by Thirsty Cyclists returning from a day on the road, and due to its success, and with supply soon exhausted, in 2016 Chris, Lucie & Tom decided to expand their project and introduce The Thirsty Cyclist to wine enthusiasts beyond the bounds of their village.
Just 8 barrels (just under 200 cases) were made and Neal Gower - wine enthusiast, cycling fiend and acclaimed graphic artist - was commissioned to design the label. (He's the chap pictured who looks remarkably like the cyclist on the label).
The wine itself is a beauty. Pure, fruity and easy drinking at 12.5% abv, but with real depth of flavour and balance too. It is typical of the wines that the Santinis produce – tiny production, unique terroir, and made with minute attention to detail - and shows why the new ‘micro-négoce’ movement that they are a part of, is shaking up the established order in Burgundy.
Pictured (l - r): Tom Keville-Davies - the excellent fellow behind the wine and owner of The Hungry Cyclist Lodge, winemakers Chris and Lucie Santini, and the artist Neal Gower.
Perfect spring drinking (particularly with a slight chill on the bottle) and ideal for washing down a plate of charcuterie, shared with a grilled bavette or as a last bottle before bed.
Drink over the next two years to take advantage of the youthful, vibrant fruit.