Beaujolais has gotten a bad rap over the past decade but the secret is getting out, it's Burgundy damn it! Ok that might be a bit of a stretch, although it is true in that the Beaujolais vineyards are located in the southern reaches of Burgundy. While there may also be that tiny issue of red Burgundy being made from Pinot Noir and Beaujolais being 100% Gamay, what is undeniable is that that both Burgundy and Beaujolais can scratch the same itch. That itch you get when only a transparent, delicate yet vibrant red wine will do!
While it may surprise some that Burgundy and Beaujolais are frequently more similar than different, the wine cognoscenti have long recognized Cru Beaujolais as among the last of the truly great values remaining in the world of fine wine. With a wonderful range of styles, the best Beaujolais remain those that are able to express the beauty of the Gamay grape as it presents itself in the unique soils of this tiny region of France.
Ranging from the delightfully obvious, yet coy and demure cherry-berry fruitiness of straight Beaujolais to the deeper, earthier Beaujolais Villages, and culminating in the precise terroir of the Crus, there is Beaujolais for each palate, and fortunately they are kind on each wallet!
Beaujolais is a perfect wine for the summer months. It's a lighter style of red wine whose structure is built on bright acidity and gentle soft tannins: perfect for serving with a slight chill when you need something refreshing to compliment the warm weather. Next time you reach for a light red make it Beaujolais, any one of these would be the perfect introduction to the wonders of Beaujolais, so don't delay!
Chateau de Pizay Beaujolais 2007
With a touch of rose on the nose and plenty of raspberry fruit this an easy bottle for summer fun!
Pierre Chermette Vissoux Beaujolais Brouilly 2007
Coming from Beaujolais' largest Cru, this wine is produced using only natural techniques and the results speak for themselves! It's a Brouilly beauty, packed full of violets, raspberries and herbs in a captivatingly fresh style.
Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorees Cote-De-Brouilly 2007
The Cotes de Brouilly are located within Brouilly, on old volcanic slopes, and generally produce deep wines with dark fruit tones and this is no exception. Full of savory notes with green peppercorn and juniper contrasting against the lovely black currant fruit, this is complex and complete.
So get out there and try one of these great wines, and don't be shy about forgetting a few in the cellar. Watch out for an email next week in which I report on a few examples that have been lying in my cellar for a few years. We'll be following up with a look at some examples that are worthy of including in your cellar inventory on June 30th so make a note, and don't forget to Celebrate with Beaujolais this year!