September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

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September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:44 pm

It's September, summer is ending in the Northern Hemisphere, but it's still hot and humid here. By the end of the month things may be looking a bit more autumnal as the days draw quickly shorter, and that makes it a perfect bridge season for Beaujolais.

We can serve Beaujolais chilled, sip it as an apertif, enjoy it al fresco, or take it more seriously and enjoy it with food and, at least with the more "serious" Cru Beaujolais, let it have a little age.

Let's try and dig into all the variability of the region, try new labels and place it in new settings; and if your regional selection allows, even try to reach beyond the ubiquitious Georges Duboeuf, although there's really nothing wrong with the wines of "The King of Beaujolais."

To mix things up even more, it's okay if you'd like to bring a Gamay from other regions or even, if you like, a Valdiguié. Let's enjoy our Beaujolais and talk about it this month.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:38 pm

Sounds good to me, Brun beckons!
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Jon Peterson » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:13 am

While working at the wine shop, I was surprised at the percentage of wine drinkers who thought there was only nouveau. I did my best to impart what I knew about Beaujolais from nouveau to Cru. If the sparked even a few people spend a few dollars more to try something new, that'd be great, but I'll never know.
I don't drink a lot of Beaujolais but I did fall in love with the 2009 Cru, especially the Morgon and the Fleurie; still have some. While I know these will live a little longer than most, I'm still not sure how long they'll keep.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:22 am

Jon Peterson wrote:I did fall in love with the 2009 Cru, especially the Morgon and the Fleurie; still have some. While I know these will live a little longer than most, I'm still not sure how long they'll keep.


Which wines? As always, depends on specifics.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Tim York » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:33 am

Rahsaan wrote:
Jon Peterson wrote:I did fall in love with the 2009 Cru, especially the Morgon and the Fleurie; still have some. While I know these will live a little longer than most, I'm still not sure how long they'll keep.


Which wines? As always, depends on specifics.


Morgon and Moulin-à-Vent from apprtopriate growers have the reputation for considerable ageing. I remember a 1978 Morgon in the late 90s, a Berry Bros own bottling, which was still very much alive, but IMO tasted more like a mature middle ranking Burg than a Beaujolais. I also have had a 1995 Moulin-à-Vent from Beefy Georges at about 10 years old which I thought in a very nice place. Some Jadot's M-à-V offerings are so oakily tannic that I think that they need quite a bit of age.

If you have quite a few bottles, I would suggest experimenting with some age on two or three, especially the Morgon. However, it should be no hardship to drink them now :D .
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Jon Peterson » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:17 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Jon Peterson wrote:I did fall in love with the 2009 Cru, especially the Morgon and the Fleurie; still have some. While I know these will live a little longer than most, I'm still not sure how long they'll keep.


Which wines? As always, depends on specifics.


Of course, you're right: Debeaune Morgon Belles Grives and Chateau des Deduits. Lower tier producers, I believe, but in my price range.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:33 pm

To start things off, this Labor Day weekend we grilled some D'Artagnan sausages and Coho salmon and opened a bottle of:
2005 Dom. Diochon Moulin-a-Vent Vieilles Vignes
Still on the more structured and dark end of the Gamay spectrum, it has softened enough to be enjoyable with food. Very fresh with great acidity, it has the typical Gamay fruit, albeit in a dark-complected package. No doubt this will get better with age, but will probably always be on the darker side of fruit for Gamay.

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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:52 pm

Thanks Mark. I have one of those resting in the cellar courtesy of the God of Thunder.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:25 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Thanks Mark. I have one of those resting in the cellar courtesy of the God of Thunder.


Do keep in mind, David, that my cellar conditions are far from glacial (passively cooled in an area that routinely hits 90° in summer) so yours might need a year or two more to reach the same state mine was in tonight.

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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby JC (NC) » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:01 am

I have a 2008 from Domaine Diochon that I plan to open tomorrow night.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby JC (NC) » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:58 am

2008 Domaine Diochon Moulin a Vent Vielles Vignes. Dark purple; opaque. Smooth elixir of dark berries. Inviting and appealing with a little tartness on the back end. This is FUN to drink! Actually went pretty well with NY strip steak.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Peter May » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:54 pm

This month’s focus is apt for, by co-incidence, two of the tasting clubs I belong to have selected Beaujolais for their September tastings.

On Thursday night the St Albans University of the Third Age wine tasting group met at Malcolm’s house, a lovely Victorian building where we were all envious of the original underground arched brick purpose-built wine cellar with its arched brick bins.

Château de Pizay 2011
AC Beaujolais (£7.49)
Light, joyful and refreshing
Our host had stayed several times at the Chateau’s hotel and dined in their gourmet restaurant and is an enthusiast for their wines, hence two from this winery in this tasting

The Society’s Exhibition Fleurie, 2011
AC Fleurie (£9.50)
Exclusive blend for The Wine Society (TWS) of fruit from four estates.
Beautiful rich and silky. My third favourite wine of the evening

The Society's Exhibition Brouilly, 2012
AC Brouilly (£9.50)
TWS exclusive, two-thirds of this blend came from Brouilly's best-known vineyard, Pisse-Vieille.
Meatier than the Fleurie, but vacant in middle palate.

Domaine Gouillony 2011
AC Cote de Brouilly (£8.25)
Meaty, savoury, full-bodied and rounded. My second favourite wine of the evening. I realised after the tasting I have some of this wine at home.

Château de Pizay 2011
AC Morgon (£8.99)
Wow, beefy and big and just wonderful. My favourite wine of the evening and I will be buying some of this.

Château de Beauregard Clos des Perelles, 2007
AC Moulin-à-Vent (£12.95)
Lost vibrancy of youth and not gained enough complexity in exchange, and failed to impress coming after the previous big wine.

What I found so interesting is how much one grape variety grown in a fairly small area can be expressed in so many ways, how little difference there was in the prices, and how comparatively low the prices were. For little more than a commercial big brand on a ‘three-for-two- supermarket offer you can get a real honest wine that shows its terroir. Note: Must drink more Beaujolais.

All prices in GBP and include all taxes, i.e. wine tax plus 20% VAT.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:07 pm

Peter May wrote:This month’s focus is apt for, by co-incidence, two of the tasting clubs I belong to have selected Beaujolais for their September tastings.

On Thursday night the St Albans University of the Third Age wine tasting group met at Malcolm’s house, a lovely Victorian building where we were all envious of the original underground arched brick purpose-built wine cellar with its arched brick bins.

Château de Pizay 2011
AC Beaujolais (£7.49)
Light, joyful and refreshing
Our host had stayed several times at the Chateau’s hotel and dined in their gourmet restaurant and is an enthusiast for their wines, hence two from this winery in this tasting

The Society’s Exhibition Fleurie, 2011
AC Fleurie (£9.50)
Exclusive blend for The Wine Society (TWS) of fruit from four estates.
Beautiful rich and silky. My third favourite wine of the evening

The Society's Exhibition Brouilly, 2012
AC Brouilly (£9.50)
TWS exclusive, two-thirds of this blend came from Brouilly's best-known vineyard, Pisse-Vieille.
Meatier than the Fleurie, but vacant in middle palate.

Domaine Gouillony 2011
AC Cote de Brouilly (£8.25)
Meaty, savoury, full-bodied and rounded. My second favourite wine of the evening. I realised after the tasting I have some of this wine at home.

Château de Pizay 2011
AC Morgon (£8.99)
Wow, beefy and big and just wonderful. My favourite wine of the evening and I will be buying some of this.

Château de Beauregard Clos des Perelles, 2007
AC Moulin-à-Vent (£12.95)
Lost vibrancy of youth and not gained enough complexity in exchange, and failed to impress coming after the previous big wine.

What I found so interesting is how much one grape variety grown in a fairly small area can be expressed in so many ways, how little difference there was in the prices, and how comparatively low the prices were. For little more than a commercial big brand on a ‘three-for-two- supermarket offer you can get a real honest wine that shows its terroir. Note: Must drink more Beaujolais.

All prices in GBP and include all taxes, i.e. wine tax plus 20% VAT.


Thanks for those notes. Not familiar with the producers. There seems to be a big difference in the Beaujolais producers that are common in the US and the UK. And apparently much more high-quality Beaujolais than even most Beaujolais lovers probably realize.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:32 pm

Agree with Rahsaan, last time I was in London I was amazed at the selection on the shelves.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:54 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:last time I was in London I was amazed at the selection on the shelves.


In what way?

There's also a ton of great Beaujolais here in the US (check CSW and Crush for starters).

What amazes me is that it's not at all the same as what you find in the UK. Which is not as much the case for other regions where the same top names are more or less represented.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:46 pm

More variety than what I have here in AB !
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:12 pm

Well at least you have 97 Erdener Treppchen still sitting on the shelves!
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2011 Morgon

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:36 am

Hard to believe these are from the same vintage and village, although they are from different vineyard sources so I guess that is all part of the excitement.

2011 Pierre Savoye Morgon Cote du Py Tradition was dark dark dark. Meaty and structured on the first day, and not too exciting, it had a lot more interest after 24 hours when it was still dark dark dark but the texture was silkier and a bit more engaging. I've only had a few Savoye wines over the years and they've never really grabbed me. This almost made the case for exploring them further, but as is often the case, it all comes down to time and I'm not sure I have enough.

The 2011 Guy Breton Morgon VV was a very different wine. Ripe and plush (for gamay), but much lighter flavors than the Savoye. It really came into its own with several hours of air, when its silky elegance and fine delicate floral flavors were an absolute joy. This is definitely worth my time!
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:31 pm

Interesting comparison, Breton seems very attractive.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:44 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Interesting comparison, Breton seems very attractive.


Yeah. I haven't been a big Breton fan in the past, but mainly because all the bottles I tried were bretty and unsound. This on the other hand showed me what they can do.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:02 pm

2011 Pierre-Marie Chermette (Domaine du Vissoux) Fleurie Poncie
Floral (yep) & chalky with red fruit and a hint of meatiness. More understated than some 2011s I have had so far (Thivin, Coudert), but nicely balanced and consistently begging for the next sip. I have not been impressed with Vissoux in the past, but I like this.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Andrew Bair » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:17 pm

David has probably had more from Vissoux than I have so far, although nothing that I have had could be called disappointing. The standard Cuvée Traditionnelle Vieilles Vignes is one of the better values in Beaujolais, IMHO. Anyway, this one went a step beyond:

2011 Domaine de Vissoux (Pierre-Marie Chermette) Beaujolais "Cuvée Cœur de Vendanges - Vignes Centenaires"
“Basic” Beaujolais from 100+ year old vines. Light to medium-bodied, elegant, rich, seamlessly put together; earthy, with notes of white pepper, red and black fruits, and just a bit of wood. Excellent.

Would like to try Breton sometime, but have yet to find anything.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:04 pm

Gamay from elsewhere:
2011 RPM Wines Gamay Noir - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County (9/10/2013)
First of my own bottles, and I am less impressed than when I had a few tastes at a party.The fruit is a bit too tart, the tannins too chalky/drying. It's an interesting wine, but needs a bit more flesh to be truly pleasurable.
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Re: September Wine Focus: Beaujolais!

Postby Tim York » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:22 am

Brouilly 2012 – La Cave d’Augustin Florent – Alc.12.5% - (c.€10)
Pursuing my lucky dip practice during WFs, I picked this one up at a Carrefour hypermarket. Doing some Googling, I discovered that La Cave d’Augustin Florent is a Carrefour own label. A neckband adds “Sélectionné par nos experts”, which begs a question about their wines not selected in this way :? .

It turned out to be a pleasantly drinkable Bojo in a Duboeuf-ish style. Good colour, medium+ body, quite rich sweetish fruit, decent acidity but not completely free of banana and prune hints. Just about good 15/20.

Côtes du Forez La Madone Gamay sur Volcan 2012 – Gilles Bonnefoy – Alc.11.5% - (c.€9) – made from organically grown grapes.
I needed to look at the map to find the precise location of C.du Forez. It turns out to be to be near Montbrison some 100 km W of Lyon and 40 km NW of St.Étienne in the department of La Loire, not far from that long river’s source. (The Côte Roannaise slightly to the N of Forez also produces some good wines from Gamay which are rarely seen outside France.) On the basis of this bottle the Forez wines are well worth getting to know.

Immediately this wine showed a lot more personality than the Brouilly above. Body was slightly lighter but both nose and palate where a lot livelier showing vibrant red fruit and crisp acidity laced with pepper and minerals and ending with a nicely grippy finish. Eminently moreish :D and I might have opened a second bottle if I had bought one. Not much future, I guess, but right now very good 16/20 QPR!
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