Beaujolais is here to stay #trythis
Beaujolais- what does it mean to you? Do you think of the bubble-gum scented, bright pink tinged, early release wines labelled with the name Beaujolais Nouveau that take up a display in shops in mid-November? Well, there is a heck of a lot more to enjoy about the region and its cheerful reds made from the Gamay grape. Look for the name of one of the more specific village crus-individual appellations within the greater Beaujolais region. There are ten to try, all located in the north part of the region, on more challenging granite and rocky soils, and each displaying its own unique expression of Gamay. From the floral styles of Fleurie and Chiroubles to more mineral and structured versions from Moulin-à-Vent and Morgon, there is a lot to explore within the Crus. Bonus? Even the best ones are usually less expensive than mid-tier red Burgundy… you just may have to compete with a gaggle of trendy somms for the most sought after bottles.
Clos de la Roilette Cuvée Tardive Fleurie 2016 ($28)
From vineyards located in Fleurie, but close to the border of Moulin-à-Vent, and from 60 plus year old vines. Dense damson fruits, smoke, incense, violets and rosemary are first to greet you on the nose. On the palate, there is a grip to the tannin, with red cherry, pungent spice, and superb balance. Cellar this one for 3-5 years to allow the tannins to integrate.
Stéphane Aviron Vielles Vignes Chénas 2014 ($20.95)
From old vines, and from a cru known for both structure and grace. This has sneaky concentration, from a combination of challenging soils and mature vine age. Blackberries, black currants, cured meat, peonies, complex nose. Brilliant acidity, with enough body and tannin to give a good frame to the fruit on the palate. It is in a great drinking window.
Baptise & Laurent Le Meilleur de 2 Mondes Saint-Amour 2015 ($19.95)
The most northern cru, and one that produces wines as lovely as its name. The aromatics focus on violets, pot pourri, red and black currants, pomegranate. More acid driven than tannin, giving an effortless brightness on the palate. Not overly complex, but it doesn’t need to be; this is easy like Sunday morning.