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Posts Tagged ‘DuBoeuf’

[2 Live Crus…(Beaujolais)]

Did you know that 2009 is being hailed as one of the finest vintages for Beaujolais ever? Robert Parker, Janice Robinson, Tyler Coleman and pretty much everyone else in the know are raving about it. I probably drink less Beaujolais than any other major wine region out there. And I absolutely despise Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s probably the one style of wine I can unequivocally say I have never enjoyed. What can you say about a wine whose common flavors include banana peel and bubble gum? Regular Beaujolais, for me, is just too thin. But because it’s devoid of tannin and made in a fruitier style, it’s probably the red wine I’d give to a staunch white wine drinker to introduce them to the dark side.

But here’s the secret for the serious red drinker: CRU Beaujolais. There’s a spine of  hills that runs through the center of Beaujolais, with soils of sandy clay over granite. 10 villages/areas in the very center are allowed to label their wines by their place names. These wines are the fullest, most concentrated Beaujolais. They still have that uber-fruity profile, but with more tannin and heft, making them much better balanced and more interesting. They don’t make Nouveau in the Cru villages, and their wines may not even say Beaujolais on the bottle. Other great thing about Cru Beaujolais, it’s usually under $20, and often closer to $15. Cru Beaujolais delivers that great restrained, Burgundian style at a discount.  Go to the Burgundy aisle of your wine store and look for the following ten place names, in very rough order from lightest to heaviest in style:

Chiroubles – Brouilly – Fleurie – RégniéSaint-Amour – Côte de Brouilly – Juliénas – Chénas – Morgon – Moulin-à-Vent

I personally seek out Morgon and Moulin-à-Vent most often.  Those places have soils richer in iron and manganese, producing darker, richer red wines. Those are also the least likely to taste like regular Beaujolais.  If you manage to snag a 2009 from Julienas, Chenas, Morgon or Moulin-à-Vent, you might want to wait a year or two before opening. These are the richest wines from the best vintage this region has seen in decades – they should be given a little time to find themselves.

But the ’07s are ready to rock, so I picked up the 2007 DuBoeuf ‘Jean Descombes’ Morgon [$14.99 at Surdyks].  It’s a very drinkable wine – the French would call it gouleyant. It’s a dark ruby/purple, with a musky and fruity nose, with a nice soft attack of bright red berry fruit with a moderate amount of acid through the sip. The flavors build to an sharp finish. It’s light and smooth, but expressive with berry flavor. If you can find any of DuBoeuf’s ’09 Cru Beaujolais – you can not go wrong.  Also, any ’09 Beaujolais-Villages is a good bet as well.  That’s the name given to wines grown outside of the Cru villages, but still closer in to the center of the region.

With all the hype, I couldn’t help but try one of the lighter ’09s.  I found the 2009 Paul Cinquin ‘Domaine Des Braves’ Régnié [$17.99 at France 44] to be a very serious wine that probably could have used even another year in the bottle, but was great with Mussels Marinara and a Seahawks victory last week.  It sported a dark magenta color with a funky Burgundy nose, lots of wood smells. A smooth sip follows, with strawberries and asphalt – very much like a Burgundy Pinot. Medium body, dry finish.  Based on my first experience with ’09 Beaujolias, I say chapeau bas.

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