Five from Saint-Amour, Beaujolais

Saint-Amour is the most northerly and the second smallest of the Beaujolais crus, and 115 growers farm its 308 hectares. The soils here are a bit different: the region’s granite soils give way to the clay and limestone of the Maconnais, so presumably there’s a bit of a mix in some of the vineyards (Saint-Veran [...]

A Beaujolais Nouveau that's delicious

Is there still life in Beaujolais Nouveau? It’s a very young wine, bottled and shipped by the third Thursday of November (today), very soon after harvest. It used to be a big deal; now, not so much. We’ve already started seeing 2013s from the southern hemisphere, who are six months ahead, and this has taken [...]

Lunch with Pol, Cloudy, Lapierre, Jamet, Clair and Bachelet

Popped round for lunch at brother-in-law Beavington’s pad yesterday, which usually means that between us we’ll have something decent to drink. (In the process, I also very nobly assist him with his cellar over-stock issues.) All the wines showed really well yesterday.

Champagne Pol Roger NV France
This is showing really well: toast, peach and nuts, together [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse

Brian Smith of Elgin Ridge

Had a great lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew on Monday, with Brian Smith, a now-biodynamic winegrower in Elgin, South Africa. I first met Brian and his wife Marion at the same restaurant just over a year ago (so my blog tells me), and they’ve now got to the point where they [...]

G Descombes Regnie 2011, a serious Beaujolais

I just love this wine.

I know that’s not very profound, but it’s utterly delicious. It’s one of the naturally made new wave Beaujolais wines, and it’s just so good.

G Descombes Régnié 2011 Beaujolais, France
12% alcohol. Quite deep in colour. Brilliant, fresh, bloody, a bit meaty and really mineral, with some iron notes as well as [...]

A brilliant white Beaujolais

Beaujolais is becoming a very interesting wine region. Most of it is red, of course, but here’s a great white example that offers amazing value for money.

Jean-Paul Brun Chardonnay Classic Terres Dorees 2011 Beaujolais, France
12% alcohol. Complex, rounded, nutty and toasty with mineral notes as well as apple and pear fruit on the nose. The [...]

Lapierre Morgon 2010

Marcel Lapierre, who died in October 2010, was a leading light in the dynamic natural wine movement in Beaujolais. He took over running the family domaine in 1973, and in 1981 – inspired by Jules Chauvet – began vinifying his wines with no added sulfur dioxide.

This wine, made by his son Mathieu, was the first post-Marcel wine (Marcel [...]

Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010, a delicious, serious Beaujolais

This is a really good example of how Beaujolais is becoming SERIOUS.

It’s naturally made, from organically (in conversion) farmed vineyards. It is from vineyards at almost 500 m in elevation, on a south-facing plt on pink granite, planted at high density from 50 year old vines (10 000 vines per hectare).

Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010 Beaujolais, France
12.5% [...]

An attractive Gamay from a new appellation: Bourgogne Gamay

This is an appealing, fruity, vibrant Gamay that comes from a new appellation, Bourgogne Gamay, created in 2011. It’s Gamay from Fleurie, Chénas and Régnié, plus 15% Burgundy Pinot Noir. The Louis Latour wines are always so beautifully packaged, but sometimes they can be a little lacklustre. This is a good one, though.

Louis Latour Bourgogne [...]

A lovely Brouilly from Romain Jambon

Romain Jambon is a new discovery for me. He’s a fourth generation, 23 year old winegrower in Beaujolais, with 7 hectares in Brouilly to play with. This wine is really fine, and blind I don’t think I’d go to Gamay at all – probably more in the direction of a lighter cool-climate Syrah. It’s one [...]