About Aging Beaujolais

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About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Jenise » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:06 pm

Yesterday, we took a 2009 Foillard Cote du Py to Bill Spohn's monthly lunch. The wine had Foillard's trademark complex aromatics and flavors, as expected, so I powered through mine while the ever-more restrained Bob set his glass aside to see how it fared after a few hours. At which point all those complex facets had flatlined. The wine still tasted okay, but all the excitement had faded.

Which I found very surprising. Discussing it on the way home it occurred to me that I've never had a properly aged Bojo. Maybe the oldest I've had was an 05 Brun about four-five years out.

So the question to those of you who know is, what happens in time? I believe I know to expect a wine that could be very Burgundy-like. If I had to bet on either the earthy Foillard we had yesterday or the more polished 09 Pierre Chermette/Domaine Vissoux (what's with this winery name, anyway?) Les Garnets we drank Thursday night to wow me in ten years, I'd give the Vissoux the nod. But I don't know how to gauge these wines at all.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:52 pm

I'm no expert but I think you would distinguish according to style/terroir, just like in any other region. The cliche is that the wines taste more and more like pinot noir/Burgundy as they age, although of course there is more than one way for that to happen.

Others may disagree, but I'm also of the opinion that Foillard is not built to be one of the longer agers from the region. But that's because I love all the ethereal juicy exuberant aromas and flavors and obviously that is going to change with extended aging. Plus the semi-carbonic style seems to favor drinking young. So I like stuff like Foillard/Descombes with 2-5 years of age, depending on vintage. And that just happens to be my sweet spot for Beaujolais, integrated silky texture that one doesn't find on release, but not yet into the drying mature flavors.

Other more structured wines (e.g. Coudert, Savoye, or those famous Jadot vineyard-specific Beaujolais) will reward longer aging but I haven't been convinced it's worth it to my palate given my limited cellar space for those wines. Others feel differently. Paging Mr. Lipton.....
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Florida Jim » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:51 pm

Jenise,
Somewhere (maybe Claude Kolm?) I heard a word that is used to describe what happens to gamay over time - pinote, I think.
I believe it is meant to indicate that it becomes more and more pinot noir like with age.
Whether or not such a word exisits and, in fact means what I thought, such has been my experience.
I remember tasting a 1983 Fleurie (forget producer) several years ago that I would have sworn was aged Morey St. Denis.

Of course, as the American market and its awakening to good Beaujolais becomes even more voracious, I suspect prices will continue to rise and someone will figure that they don't need to make ageable wine - it just needs to taste good for a year or two.
Not that everyone will do that but where there's money to be made, costs can be cut . . . (in my cynical mood . . .).
Even so, I too would give Vissoux the nod.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Jenise » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Jim and Rahsaan,

Thanks for your comments. I definitely need more experience with Beaujolais, and will not hold my other Foillards back. Btw, we opened an 09 Jadot Villages last night for chicken and dumplings, and it was a perfect choice. It is probably the silkiest Beaujolais I've ever drunk. Didn't have the power or complexity of the others mentioned in this thread, but what a great texture.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Florida Jim » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:04 pm

Jenise wrote:Jim and Rahsaan,

Thanks for your comments. I definitely need more experience with Beaujolais, and will not hold my other Foillards back. Btw, we opened an 09 Jadot Villages last night for chicken and dumplings, and it was a perfect choice. It is probably the silkiest Beaujolais I've ever drunk. Didn't have the power or complexity of the others mentioned in this thread, but what a great texture.

Jadot Villages is good every year - and affordable every year.
Best, Jim
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:16 pm

I tasted two `09s Moulin a Vent yesterday. The first one was delicious and quite light but #2 was very big and the complete opposite. In need of some cellaring I`d say. It was the cuvee from Bulliat.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Otto » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:57 pm

Old Beaujolais can be an ethereally beautiful wine. I reported here once, maybe a year or two ago, about Drouhin's Beaujolais-Village 1982, so not even a cru, that was more like a Grand Cru Burgundy than what it said on the tin.

But I, too, would feel uncomfortable ageing Foillard and Lapierre for such a long time. But producers like J-M Burgaud who make a more structured less carbonic style might well turn into such ethereal wonders.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Florida Jim » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:44 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:Old Beaujolais can be an ethereally beautiful wine. I reported here once, maybe a year or two ago, about Drouhin's Beaujolais-Village 1982, so not even a cru, that was more like a Grand Cru Burgundy than what it said on the tin.
.

FWIW, a friend tasted at Jadot and only after they had gone through the Domaine Grand Cru Burgunies, did they offer their single vineyard Beaujolais.
Shows some serious respect.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Jon Peterson » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:51 am

Jenise wrote:I definitely need more experience with Beaujolais.....


I have never really appreciated Beaujolais until the 2009 vintage. From what I have read/heard, Jenise, it was such an outstanding vintage that it may spoil you regarding future vintages and I intent to keep trying to see if that holds true. As far as the grape tasting more like PN with age, that sounds good to me,too.
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:46 pm

Jenise,
I had the great privilege of having a '74 Fleurie in the cellar of the vigneron who made it in 2001. It was a lovely wine, but if I'd tasted it blind there would have been NFW that I'd have identified it as Beaujolais. It didn't particularly taste like Pinot Noir, either, unless by that you mean old Pinot Noir. So if one's Platonic ideal of Gamay is what you get in a young bottle of Beaujolais, then there is little varietal character in seriously old Gamay. However, I know of people who routinely age Beaujolais (the foremost not so far from you in Issaquah), so one's sights can be set on a different target.

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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Marc D » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:55 pm

I would not give up on aging Foillard. After all it is from Morgon which can age beautifully. In the past 2 years I've tasted a gorgeous Foilllard Corcelette from 2000, and a really good Foillard Cote du Py from 1999. The 99 was still recognizably a Morgon, with dusty spices and red fruits and fairly resolved structure. I've seen other notes referring to Morgon as having "church spices" and that applied to this bottle.

I've had some older bottles of Beaujolais recently like a 93 Jadot Beaujolais Villages (from Brad L) that for me seemed too old and dried up to say I loved it.
Also a semi recent 2001 Diochon Moulin a Vent seemed to be just hitting its prime drinking window.
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Re: About Aging Beaujolais

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:51 pm

Ageing Beujolais reminds me of ageing Zinfandels. In a small percentage of the wines, what you give up (in both cases the delightful youthful fruit) is more than compensated by what you gain ( the complexity in both cases and the confusing segue toward being cabernet-like for old Zin). If you know your producers you can hedge your bets in most cases, something I've done many times with Zin, but have never bothered with in the case of Beaujolais as they are just so damned delightful when young that the trade off doesn't seem worth it to me (and I am a serious admirer of aged wines!)
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