2009 Beaujolais - January 16, 2013 - Host: Ron

Speaker's Notes

Best vintage since 1947, Beaujolais is always 100% Gamay grape. Beaujolais is south of Burgundy but part of the Rhône administrative district, Maconnais area and south, north of Lyons; all cru from Beaujolais Village; ability to ship on the Loire to Paris separated growers from Burgundian handlers; think of Burgundy to scrutinize and Beaujolais to enjoy - difference in its use. There are 10 cru, and we have 6 tonight; absence of oak allows benefiting from chill to 60 degress, possibly less. The volume of this sold marks the best cash category for Burgundy; expensive wines are about $30; all can last 5 years from harvest, some 10+.

Beaujolais Villages (Duboeuf) ($10, WS 84) - Uses 71B yeast, yields "banana" tone, not considered characteristic; imports lOOK cases per year, 30 mil bottles total. Generally skip wines simply noted as "Beaujolais", at least go for "B-Villages" (39 of them)

Beaujolais Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Traditional (Chermette) ($15) - 4 ha, vines 35-85 yrs Dom du Vissoux owned by Pierre-Marie & Martine Chermette; emphasizes natural, low yield, no chaptalization (add sugar to up alcohol but not sweetness); aged in oak foudre, no filtration, mostly no added sulfites); popular in Parisian cafes; 1/2 carbonic maceration is typical for Chermette (vs common full carbonic); egg white fining; estate's standard bearer fr 1986; 2010 RP90 - "strawberry & raspberry often liquorice aftertaste"

Beaujolais Villages (Coquelet) ($19, RP90) - step-son of Georges Descombes, first bottling 2007 at age 20; organic, rents parcels in Chir & Morgon; up-and-coming; gamay = soft tannins, "one of the most versatile food wines in the world"; WSJ Nov 2010 review highest rated Beau & Beau-Vii was 88

We have 6 of the 10 Cru; some too small e.g. Chenas has only 650 acres vs. Brouilly 3,000 acres

Chiroubles (Coquelet) ($25) - Chir, Brou, Regnie great for people trying their first red wine due to absence of tannin; reputation as "pretty and charming with lovely aromas..."

Chiroubles Vieilles Vignes (Coquelet) ($37) - most expensive purchase for this tasting; some vines up to 90 yrs old

Cote de Brouilly (Brun) ($22, WS 88) - Cote is considered earthier and stronger than Chir; expect gently light, aromatic, bright sweet fruit, with a modest finish; think of using with roasted chicken

Brouilly Pierreux (Chermette) ($29, RP 91, ST 91) - 1.5 ha plot purchased in 2007, granite stones, vines 60 yrs old, semi-carbonic, 6 months in old oak casks; think of kisch, plum, blueberry - will differ from next village which emphasizes cru separated by characteristics; "even riper than this years Coeur de Vendage, more elegant...";2010 RP89

Fleurie Poncie (Chermette) ($29, typ 91 in blogs) - "one of the most balanced and classic Fleurire...", often characterized as feminine; raspberry, blackberry, contrast with fruit character of Brou; 13.2% alcohol; most popular cru vineyard; has full sourthern exposure, vines 40-90 yrs; "Queen of Beaujolais"

Morgon Vieilles Vignes (Breton) ($35 RP 92) - village is second strongest, second longest life

Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2005 (Breton) ($35) - year rating was 92, best in past 20 yrs vs 95 rating for 2009 (& 93 rating for '10 -> buy some); strategy: clean off store shelves, if available but only for current drinking

Morgon Jean Descombes (Duboeuf) ($20 WS 93) - best rating of today's list and best of that year by WS; light tannins, spicy thread, fresh; 8,000 cases made; "intense"; Jean died in '93 but daughter continues (well) and still uses relationship with Duboeuf

Morgon Cote du Py (Foillard) ($35) - Cote du Py is vineyard with Morgon; very different soil from Breton's, has iron in it, nose similar to Chambole Musigny; soil called pourri, meaning "rotten", very limited production

Moulin a Vent Les Trois Roches (Chermette) ($29 WA91) - 3 parcels with Rochegres "so structured that it is aged in oak barriques"; "outstanding length", meaning it may need time; village is known for "meaty quality", aging into flavor profile of Cote du Beaune; sometimes called "poor man's Burgundy"; can age 10 yrs; "King of Beaujolais"

Moulin a Vents (Dom des Michelons) ($23, WA 90) - tends to age into flavor profile of Cote du Beaune; made with used barrique

Excellent alternate vintners: Alain Coudert, Dominique Piron, Jean-Paul Brun, Joel Rochette

Calvados ($33) - stated age = min yrs, may be +5 yrs of partial; clear brandy from apple cider (various varieties); this Chateau has 22,000 trees, yield 5-6 kg apples per 1 liter wine; 375,000 bottles per year produced, little imported to US due to lack of demand; bldgs are 16 &17 C; 2 step distillation to get 40% alcohol; also make 16 aperitifs with vanilla o'tones; takes Dec-Aug to process all cider; all AOC, 15 competitors; Cu still.

Page last edited: May 20, 2024 (EB)


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