And now for something completely different. A Beaujolais 2007 taste off, Morgon Vs Fleurie with my good friend and wine blogger, the Wine Sleuth.
A great way to finish off this November’s final blog entry as we turn our attentions away from the Italian wine for just a moment and focus on Beaujolais. A few days ago I was sent a couple of Beaujolais wines from the very famous British wine company Berry Bros and Rudd and decided to do a blog entry for Beaujolais which has never really been covered here.
So, a quick round up on Beaujolais for those who are not familiar with the region.
Beaujolais is the southern most wine region of Burgundy. Within Beaujolais exists 10 cru denominations, Beaujolais-Villages, regular Beaujolais and Beaujolais Superieur. It’s generally agreed that the best examples of Beaujolais come from the 10 cru areas and each of these cru provide their own distinctive take on Gamay (the grape that makes Beaujolais).
Stylistically Beaujolais wines can generally be defined as fresh ‘n’ fruity light red wines and in most cases with an over-riding cherry fruit profile. Each of the 10 cru wines however impart their own distinctive characteristics on the wine and, as you can see in the VT for example, Morgon, while just down the road from Fleurie is easily distinguishable even by the likes of myself and the wine sleuth!
If you’re hankering to get into Beaujolais you will find it a hard task indeed if you don’t memorise the 10 cru regions of the appellation. Many of the cru Beaujolais wines are not marked “Beaujolais” at all, simply “Morgon” or “Fleurie“. Below is a guide to help you…. and to remind me and that American chick.
A quick guide to the 10 Beaujolais Crus
Chiroubles – Producing one of the lightest and most elegant Beaujolais wines and the best of the bunch to be drunk young.
St Amour – Northernmost Cru whose wines benefit from a few years age. Dull when young the wines grow into supple, spicy wines with a few years on the clock.
Brouilly – The largest of Beaujolais’ areas, the wines are fruity and best drunk young unlike…
Cote de Brouilly – A more concentrated Beaujolais, grapey and rich, that also benefits from some time.
Fleurie – The most famous Cru on the street Fleurie has a huge following. The wines are typically flowered in aroma, cherry in flavour, feminine in style and easy drinking.
Morgon – The second largest cru and perhaps the most complex and distinctive Beaujolais. Can fool you with gooseberry flavours you’re not expecting from a Beaujolais. The terroir here is decomposing slate quite unlike the other crus and this impacts on the wine. Not to be drunk young, lacks fruitiness of other Beaujolais wines in its youth.
Juliénas – Distinctive cru with solid structure and distinctive fruits including peach, blackcurrants and raspberries. Depending on the producer Juliénas can be drunk young or take a few years to develop to it’s full potential.
Moulin à Vent – The most robust, tannic and full bodied of all the Beaujolais cru. Moulin a Vent wines are usually the most expensive and with age become Pinot–esque and in their youth are still superb examples of Beaujolais.
Chénas – Next door to Moulin a Vent, the wines need at least three years to develop and when they do this is one of the most complex and strongly perfumed Beaujolais wines.
Régnié – Light, supple and a great example of young Beaujolais. The latest of all the Beaujolais crus (incorporated in 1988) the wines of Regnie can be a little diverse in style.
Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes Morgon La Voûte St.Vincent 2007 – BUY – £10.95
Ruby red in colour, the wine starts off a little dumb on the nose with basic spice and cherries. After an hour or so the wine opens up big time and all kinds of aromas come to the fore including blackberries and wet stones. On the palate the wine is a little bitter but with a great texture, sound acidity, fine tannins, good structure and balance. Good example. 88 Points
Domaine Métrat Fleurie Vieilles Vignes La Roilette 2007 – PASS – £12.65
Identical ruby red in colour, on the nose the wine is simply raspberries and hints of cherry. The palate follows this identical and simple profile, the balance is good and the acidity is fine and this is a typical example of Fleurie with more fruit on the palate but still too watery and one dimensional for my personal taste. As a Fleurie Beaujolais it’s very good but this style of wine is not to my personal taste. 85 Points
Where can I buy this Wine?
Both available at Berry Bros and Rudd
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Simply, Beaujolais, love it or loathe it?