Beaujolais, the Darling of Sommeliers
Beaujolais is the darling of sommeliers these days. With the prices of the precious wines of Burgundy soaring to the stars, Beaujolais is a way of enjoying the fruits of this coveted region within a reasonable budget. The Beaujolais region of France is a little area in the southernmost part of the Burgundy wine region. The grape is Gamay, and it comes in various styles depending upon where it is grown. It has pretty fruit flavors of raspberries, strawberries and sometimes cherries. It is on the lighter side and low in tannin. The finer ones have subtle earthy and mineral notes and are even age worthy. But, no matter where the grape is grown, its signature is one of bright and happy fruit that increasingly makes for a delightful quaff.
There are Beaujolais and there are Beaujolais. We will give short shrift to Beaujolais Nouveau, a release each year in November of wine that is barely fermented and which was originally a marketing gimmick to promote the sale of wine from a region that was not on the public’s radar. The most uncomplicated of the Beaujolais, which only carries that name on its label, is the ultimate bistro wine. It goes down with so smoothly and so quickly. A notch higher are the wines from the northernmost part of the region which carry the name Beaujolais-Villages on their label. Most of the output of Beaujolais comes from this region.
However, those that carry the name of their village on the bottle, the so-called Cru Beaujolais, are more serious expressions of the grape and have the ability to age. There are ten Crus: St. Amour, Chiroubles, Chenas, Fleurie, Regnie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-Au-Vent, Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly, and each has a distinctive profile. Most of these can be drunk immediately or aged a year or so. If aged, they will show the complexity of their terroir yet still retain the bright, juicy freshness that the grape is known for.
This month we will offer Beaujolais from the villages of Morgan, Moulin-au-Vent Julienas, St. Amour as well as a delicious Beaujolais-Villages.
Domaine de la Madone Beaujolais-Villages - vibrant with bright cherry flavor and a bit of spice and pepper.
Domaine Michel Tete Julienas 2020 - Julienas produces fatter, fleshier and spicier wines that are more concentrated with darker fruit and a more dimensional structure than other Beaujolais. The Tete has a complex bouquet of raspberries mulberries and rose petals. A supple palate with a juicy core of red fruit that is bright and delicious. The silky texture due to the finely ingrained tannins completes the package for this gorgeous Julienas.
Domaine des Chers Saint-Amour 2019 - Saint-Amor is known for its soft, ways drinking wines, but it also produces a more serious style of wine, due to variation in soils. Ours is on the slightly more serious side. It has aromas of redcurrant, raspberry and strawberry with floral notes. It is light and sweet fruited, and somewhat more feminine in its nature.
Domaine Louis Boillot Moulin-a-Vent Vieilles Vignes 2019 - When it comes to body, ageability, and tannic structure, Moulin-à-Vent reigns supreme. The vines yield fewer but more concentrated grapes resulting in a more robust and tannic wine. While accessible now, they are very age-worthy. The Boillot is an attractive wine bursting with aroma of cherries, rose petals and spices. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and live, it’s deep and layered and framed by powdery tannins and bright acids.
Domaine Ruet Morgon “Douby” 2019 - In terms of body and structure, Morgon is another fuller-bodied, more serious cru. Its soil is granite which gives the grapes their power. The Ruet is structured and rich in primary red fruit It is quite elegant and extremely ready to drink.