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Wine Focus for April: Beaujolais!

by Robin Garr » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:02 am

Bob Parsons suggested this in the active Questions for Beaujolais thread. Plus bring-a-Gamay for those who, for whatever reason, don't have easy local access to Beaujolais.

As we move into spring, we're getting about as far around the calendar from Nouveau as we can get, and maybe that's a good thing. Taste through the Crus, see how the recent Beaujolais-Villages vintages are doing. Try the ubiquitous Georges Duboeuf, and draw on The King's lesser-known competitors to learn more about the appellation outside his factories. Maybe even unholster a lost, leftover Nouveau to test the old wisdom that it won't last past Christmas. (Personally I doubt this ... I expect the '11s are doing fine and even the '10s still drink okay, but who cares when we can have the Crus?)
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Rahsaan » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:04 am

No!
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Robin Garr » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:06 am

Rahsaan wrote:No!

I happen to have a nice new JP Brun Cote-du-Brouilly from Chambers Street lined up over here ...
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:39 am

Is that the `09 Robin? If it is I will keep mine for future, grin.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Tim York » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:37 pm

Great :D
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by JC (NC) » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:04 pm

Most I have on hand are from 2009. I don't object to opening a couple now although I am also planning to string them out over the next couple years.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Robin Garr » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:09 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Is that the `09 Robin? If it is I will keep mine for future, grin.

Actually, it's the 2010. I'm not a great believer in aging Gamay, though. Sure, it turns into something like Pinot, but since it's actually not Pinot, what's the point of that? ;)
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Brian K Miller » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:26 pm

I'm all for it. Is it ok to throw in Gamay from, say the Northern Rhone? Or even the beloved foothills bottle from Steve Edmunds?
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Salil » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:57 pm

Anyone who has a problem with a Steve Edmunds Gamay has a problem. ;)

Very curious, who plants Gamay in the N. Rhone?!
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Rahsaan » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:08 pm

Salil wrote:Very curious, who plants Gamay in the N. Rhone?!


Herve Souhaut has been one of the big natural wine names doing Northern Rhone gamay for approximately the past 10 years. I don't follow the scene too closely but there may be other newer offshoots in the area (the Ardeche).

Domaine Peyra were big with natural gamay in the Auvergne in the late 90s/early 00s, and although they're no longer around I think they spawned some newer related domaines.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Brian K Miller » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:13 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Salil wrote:Very curious, who plants Gamay in the N. Rhone?!


Herve Souhaut has been one of the big natural wine names doing Northern Rhone gamay for approximately the past 10 years. I don't follow the scene too closely but there may be other newer offshoots in the area (the Ardeche).


That's the one I tried earlier this year. La Souteranne I think is the name of the Vin de Table. It was deliciously crisp and herby and floral.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Ben Rotter » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:21 am

Definitely! (Barring the Duboeuf/Nouveau though.)

Robin Garr wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Is that the `09 Robin? If it is I will keep mine for future, grin.

Actually, it's the 2010. I'm not a great believer in aging Gamay, though. Sure, it turns into something like Pinot, but since it's actually not Pinot, what's the point of that? ;)


Precisely because it's a bit like Pinot but it's aged Gamay; and the good stuff can easily be mistaken for Côte d'Or/Côte de Nuit blind, which says something :).
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:35 am

Oh no...Gamay that resembles Pinot. Somebody tell Oswaldo to retreat even further into his purity bunker! :mrgreen:
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Rahsaan » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:52 am

I'm not sure that giving some of the bigger more structured and more complicated wines (e.g. Foillard CdP, Foillard 3.14, Coudert Tardive, Descombes VV to name the ones that I like and keep around for a few years) a few years to come together really makes them taste like pinot noir. They taste like evolved integrated comfortable (i.e. deliciously aged) Beaujolais. Which is often an improvement on how they taste upon release. At least to my palate. But of course these things vary according to vintage. And there are plenty of other great Beaujolais wines that may not respond as well to short aging.

Perhaps the stuff like Burgaud and Jadot becomes more like pinot noir, but I don't really drink much of those.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:26 am

Interesting discussion on one of the other places about aged Beau-jolly! I myself have nothing to speak of in my cellar. Just some Brun from `09 which many might consider too young?
Are we going to see some notes on other vintages here..`06/`07?
I think with Tim being closer to the action, we will have some great insights this month.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:40 pm

Gearing up for April, I was perusing some of John Gilman's write ups of the 2009s during lunch. I guess I had not noticed it before, but I was shocked by the ridiculously long drining windows for some of the wines. The 2009 Brun Moulin-a-Vent 2015-2050. The Jadot Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent 2013-2040. The Clos de la Roilette (Coudert) Fleurie Cuvee Tardive 2016-2050.

I know top Beaujolais is not the drink now wine that it is often portrayed to be based on the basic/nouveau wines, but these are the kinds of driking windows that get Parker derided as a crackpot.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Rahsaan » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:13 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Gearing up for April, I was perusing some of John Gilman's write ups of the 2009s during lunch. I guess I had not noticed it before, but I was shocked by the ridiculously long drining windows for some of the wines. The 2009 Brun Moulin-a-Vent 2015-2050. The Jadot Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent 2013-2040. The Clos de la Roilette (Coudert) Fleurie Cuvee Tardive 2016-2050.

I know top Beaujolais is not the drink now wine that it is often portrayed to be based on the basic/nouveau wines, but these are the kinds of driking windows that get Parker derided as a crackpot.


Well at least he started the windows pretty close to 2009. Which perhaps acknowledes that the overwhelming majority of us will finish them before 2020. And perhaps the extended window is there to cater to the tastes of those few outliers. Imagine if he had put 2035-2050!
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Mark Lipton » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:58 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Gearing up for April, I was perusing some of John Gilman's write ups of the 2009s during lunch. I guess I had not noticed it before, but I was shocked by the ridiculously long drining windows for some of the wines. The 2009 Brun Moulin-a-Vent 2015-2050. The Jadot Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent 2013-2040. The Clos de la Roilette (Coudert) Fleurie Cuvee Tardive 2016-2050.

I know top Beaujolais is not the drink now wine that it is often portrayed to be based on the basic/nouveau wines, but these are the kinds of driking windows that get Parker derided as a crackpot.


From what I can tell of John's tastes, he likes his wines with a LOT of age on them, at stages that many would consider dead. Having said that, I have no idea if those wines will be at all alive or appealing at the end of those windows (perhaps he has in mind certain glacial cellars?) and I have no intention of finding out. It's annoying enough to cellar Bordeaux for three decades before drinking it. I'm not about to start doing the same with my Gamay.

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Let the Beaujolais-fest begin

by Rahsaan » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:52 pm

I've recently had the 2008 and 2009 Descombes Morgon VV and both were good fun and true to vintage expectations. The 08 was much more lively and expressive but the 09 was so seductive in its texture. Personally, I'm happy to drink both and don't worry about choosing/ranking/etc.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Beaujolais!

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:21 am

Opened a 2009 Thevenet Morgon Vieilles Vignes last night, and it actually seemed quite closed. It had plenty of weight, so it was clearly of hte '09 style, but gone was that lushness that characterized so many '09s on release. I corked up the rest, and will revisit tonight.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Beaujolais!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:02 am

I see some Ferraud here in town, anyone care to comment on the house style?
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Beaujolais!

by Brian K Miller » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:22 am

Outlier wine so not sure if I should post it here under a Gamay-oriented thread or as a separate tasting note, but here goes...

Based on my comment vis a vis importers, Selection Massale is a great starting point for interesting "natural" wines. And the 2010 Jeremy Quastana "L'Insurge" 2010 Touraine Gamay exemplifies how delicious and interesting these wines can be. I know it's a bit of woo and a cliche, but this wine simply looked, smelled, and tasted "alive". Glowing ruby-purple color, almost fluorescent. Awesome nose of earth and funk and blackberry and the tell-tale Gamay fruitiness, but deeper and earthier and richer. Already silky and beuatiful in mouth feel, andn yet...yet...there is also liveliness in mouthfeel as well, with a hint of CO2 which blew off. Yum!

This is apparantly M. Quastana's debut vintage!!! Delicious.

Purchased at a fantastic newish wine bar in Oaklan'd Uptown neighborhood near the Paramount Theater. Punchdown really emphasizes interesting wines like this Gamay, Natural Process steel can Chardonnays, and plenty of orange wines! Cute little place, and they are really passionate about the wines they sell. In summer, I imagine the small square out front will be a lovely place to hang out.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Andrew Bair » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:38 pm

Salil wrote:Anyone who has a problem with a Steve Edmunds Gamay has a problem. ;)

Very curious, who plants Gamay in the N. Rhone?!


There is actually a very obscure appellation called Châtillon-en-Diois where Gamay is the primary grape for red and rosé wines, although up to 25% Pinot Noir and/or Syrah can be added as well. I have never seen anything from there, and would imagine that virtually all the wines are consumed locally.

If anyone has ever tried anything from Châtillon-en-Diois, I would be interested to know their impressions of it.
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Re: Wine Focus for April: Anyone got a problem with Beaujolais?

by Ben Rotter » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:12 am

Rahsaan wrote:I'm not sure that... a few years... really makes [the bigger more structured and more complicated Beaujolais] taste like pinot noir. They taste like evolved integrated comfortable (i.e. deliciously aged) Beaujolais... Perhaps the stuff like Burgaud and Jadot becomes more like pinot noir, but I don't really drink much of those.


I didn't mean to make out that it was anything like a widespread phenomenon, and I would certainly agree that the styles of wine for which it tends to be true are precisely from producers like Jadot and Burgaud. (For example, many people confuse aged Jadot Château des Jacques for Côte d'Or/Côte de Nuit Pinot.)
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