It’s funny how you find out you like a certain type of wine. When it comes to Beaujolais I suppose it really began in Switzerland when I first consciously came across the Gamay grape. This experience was shortly followed by a beautiful bottle of the organic Beaujolais from Waitrose, Georges Duboeuf Chiroubles, which has turned into my go-to red, any night of the week. To take my exploration into the wonderful world of Gamay further I decided to order the Beaujolais case from The Wine Society. As this was my first order I also got a cheeky £20 off as I am now a member, making the case a very amicable £44.00. I also ordered a bottle of the Domaine du Pressoir Fleuri 2015 which is a Beaujolais too, but wasn’t part of the case.
B-E-A-U jolais is a wine region in France, have a little look at this very helpful map from Wine Folly to see where:
As you can see, it’s a fairly small area just south of Burgundy. It’s pretty low key, doesn’t shout about its wine all that much and due to the nature of the Gamay grape, a lot of the wine isn’t left to age meaning it’s quite a fast-paced cycle of harvesting , producing and drinking. There’s a lot of in-depth information on the region and the wines on Jancis Robinson’s very informative website, here’s a little snippet for you:
“Beaujolais, quantitatively extremely important wine region in east central France producing a unique style of fruity wine which is often relatively, nay unfashionably, light but is increasingly being made in a more concentrated, ‘Burgundian’ style. For administrative purposes, Beaujolais is often included as part of greater burgundy, but in terms of climate, topography, soil types, and even distribution of grape varieties, it is quite different. In some years, Beaujolais has produced more than the whole of the rest of greater Burgundy to the north put together, nearly a million hl of wine, almost all of which is produced from a single red grape variety, gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, and much of it by a single, distinctive winemaking method.”
If you’d like to learn more including the History of Beaujolais, Geography and Climate The Appellations, Viticulture, Vine Varieties, Wine Making, and Serving Beaujolais please follow this link:
If you’ve done your reading, or at least plenty of drinking, what you may have noticed is the serious drinkability of these wines. When they are as delicious as Georges Duboeuf’s, I would go as far to say that they risk being guzzled, which makes one wonder why more of the local bars aren’t serving them, they could make a fortune.
The Wine Society’s Pickings:
The Society’s Exhibition Juliénas 2013, Gamay, 13% Beaujolais
Juliénas is an appellation of Beaujolais which covers the north of the region. It is indeed named after the Roman leader Julius Caesar and vineyards have been established there for more than 2000 years. Some of the vines are on quite steep slopes and tend to produce full-bodied and well structured wines.
This bottle is particularly enjoyable. It has a great depth of flavour and is both soft enough to be eaten with lighter meals but has enough robustness to accompany a stew too.
Domaine des Grands Rouvres, Chénas 2015, Gamay, 13% Beaujolais
Chénas is one of the smallest of the ten Beaujolais crus, situation in the far north of the region. This was quite a surprising wine, it’s sort of like when you don’t add enough squash to water as it has a very short finish. However, the ripeness of fruit is there and I wouldn’t hesitate to drink it again.
Jean-Paul Brun, Terres Dorées Beaujolais L’Ancien 2015, Gamay, 12.5%
First things first, I really like the old fashioned label on this wine, I think it’s really effective and makes it look very sexy and old. This is different from the first two as it is from the South of the Beaujolais region. It’s medium-bodied, very juicy and fresh with notes of red cherry.
Domaine Coudert Brouilly, Beaujolais, France 2015 , 13%
This is the bottle with the lovely illustration of a horse’s head on the label. It’s excellent, the perfect example of everything I want from a Beaujolais, it’s also sold out currently which speaks for itself.
As a side note, Brouilly is the largest of the Beaujolais crus and produces some of the best of the red wines.
Château de Beauregard, Fleurie Poncié, 2015, Gamay 14%
Wines can be quite varied in the Beaujolais crus of Fleurie. It is also apparently the most expensive area of Beaujolais.
This is absolutely delicious, rich, sweet and fruity with the sort of long finish I absolutely love from these wines. Perfect!
The Trenel Beaujolais-Villages 2016 was very sadly corked – you can see my blog post on how to tell if a wine is corked, here.
Domaine du Pressoir Fleuri, Chiroubles 2015
Highest of the Beaujolais crus, Chiroubles, producing the most drinkable and refershing wines that I simply LOVE. I also enjoy trying to pronounce Chiroubles. This is a lively, refreshing wine with a long finish. It’s subtle raspberry notes make it almost summery, so smooth, so nice.
So there you have it, a little tour de Beaujolais thanks to The Wine Society! If you’re yet to discover this magnificent region, I hope this has at least convinced you to give it a try.
The view of Beaujolais from Chiroubles taken by Karaian on Flickr.