beaujolais "THE OTHER BURGUNDY"
"A refreshing change"
fruity and delicious, fine and flavored, intense and generous.
Located north of Lyon in eastern France, Beaujolais overlaps Burgundy in the north and Rhône in the south. The picturesque Beaujolais vineyards run along the Saône River, where winemakers have crafted deliciously supple and fruity wines since the days of Ancient Rome.
Over mainly granite terrain, the Beaujolais Crus form a meandering path. From south to north, Brouilly is followed by Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Juliénas and Saint-Amour.
The region has ideal growing conditions. It receives lots of sunshine and has granite-based soils that lend excellent structure to the wines. The Gamay grape is used to make all Beaujolais wines with the exception of white Beaujolais, or Beaujolais blanc, which is made of Chardonnay grapes.
Only manual harvesting is allowed in the Beaujolais region. Handpicking means that before being vatted, entire bunches are sorted to remove any bad grapes. This winemaking method is specific to the Beaujolais region.
$16 CHRISTIAN PACALET, Beaujolais Villages '16
A delicious Beaujolais-Villages is a rare find. Christophe Pacalet’s Beaujolais-Villages come from the foothills of the cru Regnie. The vines are century old. A wine to drink in abundance with simple and honest dishes.
$17 domaine dupeuble beaujolais blanc '16 "organic"
$18 DOMAINE DUPEUBLE BEAUJOLAIS '16 "organic"
$22 DOMAINE GRAND FERS, Fleurie '14
$23 CHAPELLE DES BOIS "GRAND PRE", Fleurie '15
Comprising the majority of the domaine’s production, the single-vineyard “Grand Pré” is an impressive showcase for Eric and Chantal’s skill in rendering transparent and expressive wine from this esteemed cru. This 2015 is beautiful and balanced, with a lifted, floral nose, strawberry-tinged fruit on the palate, and an intriguing note of anise on the finish. Its density and structure will allow it to cellar very well, though it is undeniably delicious right now.
$23 DOMAINE CHAVERNAND Chiroubles "vieille vignes" '14
50 year old Gamay Noir vines planted on sandy soils over a granite base at 400 meters in elevation and a southern exposure. Semi-carbonic maceration with whole clusters for 14 days. Aged eight months in concrete tanks before bottling. Chrioubles is the highest in elevation of the Beaujolais crus, producing some of the lightest but most genuinely refreshing wines. The soils are similar to the sandiest parts of neighboring Fleurie. Perhaps the most archetypically Beaujolais of all the crus, Chiroubles is best drunk relatively young.
$24 PASCAL GRANGER, Moulin-a-Vent" les chassignols" '13
Another very limited production cuvée from vines of average age of 50 years on the mid-hill, south facing vineyards known as ‘Chassignols’ where the soil is composed of granite. 30% of the grapes are left whole, while 70% are de-stemmed. This great “cru” has an extended fermentation of about 20 days in large cement cuves before it is racked into demi muids and foudre for the six months of elevage. A sturdy wine, reserved in its youth, marked by the smells and flavors of red fruits, roses and spice, the Moulin a Vent from Granger deserves several years of cellaring.
$25 CHAPELLE DES BOIS Morgon,'15
The Morgon is the most powerful and fruit-driven wine of the Coudert’s 2015s. The old vines, which enjoy ideal exposure, yield a wine with more potential alcohol than the others. Chantal was worried about the vinification of this wine at first, as it had a natural potential alcohol of over 14.5%–in a region in which 12% is normal. In a moment of worry over the wine finishing its fermentation, she contacted her old schoolmate from Domaine Charvin in Chateauneuf-du-Pape—an appellation in which these alcohol levels are commonplace. His advice? “Just wait!” So she did, and the result is delicious—though somewhat atypical (Chantal jokes that this is her first Chateauneuf-du-Pape!). A first taste reveals the sheer power and richness of the vintage, but beneath the lushness is an attractive interplay of fruit and freshness that underlines unmistakably where the wine comes from.