Spring will soon be here bringing warmer weather. A glass of Cru Beaujolais with a slight chill is perfect with many lighter foods. As mentioned in an earlier article (to read the last notes on 2011 Beaujolais click here), the 2011 Cru Beaujolais are more like 2010 than 2009, yet different. They have lots of fruit and charm and great early appeal. Cru Beaujolais wines continue to be some of the greatest values in the wine world delivering a Burgundian tasting experience at an affordable price. (To read an article with background information on Cru Beaujolais click here). Here are notes on seven Outstanding recent arrivals including one that is new to me and the others which are favorites of mine year after year. These are wines to buy!
2011 Guy Breton Morgon Vielles Vignes.
Guy Breton is one of the original “Gang of Four” producers in Morgon that many years ago began domaine bottling of Cru Beaujolais made from old vines in a traditional style. These wines are consistently lovely and drink beautifully from the beginning, but are also capable of aging for an extended period where they take on a decided Burgundian character.
Made from vines that are 80 years old, this 2011 checks in at 12.5% alcohol. It is delicious! The wine has a very nice color and a lovely floral perfume with hints of raspberry. It is supple with lovely floral tinged berry fruit and has a bright underlying crispness. This is a Cru Beaujolais of great finesse that lingers on the palate and is so easy to love and very easy to drink – Outstanding. $32 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA.
2011 Jean-Paul Brun Fleurie Grill Midi Terres Dorees.
This is a limited production bottling from Jean-Paul Brun who makes Beaujolais in a very traditional style with very little sulphur. The wines are deliciously fresh and fruity. This is the first time I have tasted this cuvée. It may be hard to find, but is worth watching for in future vintages as well. In the world of wine, this once again proves that, if you are adventuresome, there is always something new out there to discover.
With a deep color this Cru Beaujolais has a lovely perfume with floral and plum nuances. It is elegant, supple, and rounded with very pure cherry and plum fruit and underlying floral notes. With a lot of charm, this is a delicious wine to drink now and over the next several years – Outstanding. $24.99 Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections LDM Wines, Inc., New York, NY
2011 Chateau de Raousset Fleurie Grill Midi.
With a very nice color this Fleurie has a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of raspberry and cranberry. Very pure and bright the wine has lots of fruit and is elegant and flavorful with a lovely crispness on the finish. This is a very attractive Cru Beaujolais – Outstanding. $19.95 Shipped by Shipped by Jean-Marie De Champs Beaune, FR & Imported by The Wine House Limited, San Francisco, CA
2011 Bernard Diochon Moulin-à-Vent Vielles Vignes.
This domaine has been making Beaujolais in the same traditional way since 1935. Bernard Diochon succeeded his father in 1967 and in 2007 he retired and appointed Thomas Paterôtre as his heir apparent. Thomas is continuing the tradition and safeguarding the ancestral methods. The wines from this domaine can be consumed young, but in my experience are better with bottle age. They can keep for a very long time. I have bottles in my cellar back to the 80s and they are delicious.
This 2011 is made from grapes grown on vines that are 50-80 years old. It is the most closed of the 2011s that I have tasted. I tasted the wine several times over a 10 day period and it was better each time. If you are to drink it now, decant it and give it lots of air.
The wine has a deep color and initially is a bit subdued, but with air develops a gorgeous floral perfume with blackberry fruit and a faint tinge of spice. It has lots of blackberry fruit and is very flavorful with structure and backbone. With air the wine softens and is even more expressive. Moulin-à-Vent is one of the most robust and longest lived of all Cru Beaujolais and consistently Domaine Diochon is one of the best. This 2011 is true to form – Outstanding. $24 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA.
2011 Nicole Chanrion Côte de Brouilly.
Nicole Chanrion took over the family domaine of some 16 acres in 1988. She does everything herself including pruning the vines and caring for the vineyard as well as wine making and bottling. This 2011 is really gorgeous. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral perfume with cherry fruit and a kiss of spice. The wine is soft and rounded with a nice underlying crispness and has silky cherry tinged fruit that is very engaging. Drink it now or over the next several years – Outstanding. $19.95 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA.
2011 Jean Foillard Morgon Cuvée Corcelette.
Jean Foillard is another of the “Gang of Four” producers in Beaujolais who began domaine bottling and using traditional vinification and viticulture pracitices some 30 years ago.
This Cuvée Corcelette is made from grapes grown on 80 year old vines in a part of the vineyard composed of sandy soil. The first vintage for this cuvée was 2007. With a very nice color the wine has a lovely floral perfume with plum and cherry fruit showing a very faint hint of spice. Soft and supple it is velvety with lots of plum and berry fruit and just a kiss of spice. Beautifully balanced this is a Beaujolais with lots of flavor and irresistible appeal – Outstanding Plus. $39 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA.
2011 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py.
This is a consistently beautiful wine made from grapes grown on vines that are 10-100 years old. This 2011 is really delicious. It has a very nice color a lovely floral perfume with a tinge of spice and berry fruit. With lots of supple fruit on the palate the wine is very elegant and has great appeal. It is delicious now, but also has the ability to age for many years into the future. I have this wine back for about 10 years and the wines have aged beautifully – Outstanding. $39 Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Berkeley, CA.