Drink Magazine

Beaujolais Crus – the “other” Beaujolais!

By Brian @WineInMyGlass

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an online Beaujolais wine tasting. As part of this tasting, I received four wines from different Crus in Beaujolais. Even though these wines are all made from the same grape, they are all quite different from each other, as well as very different from the more common Beaujolais-Villages.

There are ten different Crus within Beaujolais. This wine tasting featured wine from four of the Crus: Saint-Amour,  Chénas, Juliénas, and Moulin-à-Vent.

2009  Barbet Domaine Des Billards Saint-Amour

Wine label
The nose is very fruity on this wine. I’m picking up red cherries, strawberries, and some red currant. It makes me think of fresh berries from the garden. I get some similar fruits on the palate along with some spice mid-palate. It finishes with more fruit. This is a fairly light-bodied wine, with almost no discernible tannins. It’s very well balanced.

I’ll give this a “Very Good” rating.

Wine Details
Producer: Barbet
Vintage: 2009
Variety: Gamay
Appelation: Saint-Amour, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
Estate: Domaine des Billards
Alcohol: 13% ABV
Suggested Retail Price: $18.99
My Rating: Very Good

2010 Christophe Pacalet Chénas

Wine label
I get some barnyard on the nose on this wine, along with some spices. Although the barnyard, or Brettanomyces (Brett) aroma can sometimes be considered a fault of a wine, I think it adds to the complexity and flavor of this wine.

There’s some darker fruits on the palate, maybe blackberries and some black currant.  I get a good amount of baking spices with anise being prominent. The finish is good with a bit of tannin providing some structure.

This wine gets a Very Good rating.

Wine Details
Producer: Christophe Pacalet
Vintage: 2010
Variety: Gamay
Appelation: Chénas, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
Alcohol: 13% ABV
Suggested Retail Price: $16.99
My Rating: Very Good

2009 Pascal Granger Juliénas

Wine label
During the online tasting, people were talking about butterscotch in this wine. I’m getting that, too, but I’d describe it as caramel with a bit of chocolate. Whatever you call it, it’s fairly clear that this wine has more oak influence than the previous two wines. (I’m not sure if those wines actually spent any time in oak.) The palate starts out smooth, almost creamy. I find the fruits to be somewhat understated, and I can’t really identify any specific flavors there. There’s some vanilla mid-palate that goes to a strong finish with a bit of oak. Definitely more tannic than the first two.

I’m giving this a “Very Good” rating.

Wine Details
Producer: Pascal Granger
Vintage: 2009
Variety: Gamay
Appelation: Juliénas, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
Alcohol: 13% ABV
Suggested Retail Price: $17.99
My Rating: Very Good

2009 Château du Bois de la Salle Moulin-à-Vent Le Vieux Bourg

Wine label
The nose seems fairly complex, as I’m picking up chocolate, vanilla, spice, and some floral. There’s some dark fruits on the palate. I get some spice mid-palate, and there’s some oak on the finish, along with good structure from the tannins.

This wine definitely improves if you give it time to breathe and open up. This wasn’t my favorite at first, but that changed when I tasted the wines again the following evening.

This wine gets my “Excellent” rating.

Wine Details
Producer: Château du Bois de la Salle
Vintage: 2009
Variety: Gamay
Appellation: Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
Alcohol: 13.5% ABV
Suggested Retail Price: $18.99
My Rating: Excellent

Summary

I enjoyed all four wines, and although I rated the last one higher than the other three, they are all very similar in quality. My ratings are undoubtedly influenced by my personal taste and preferences. I’d recommend buying any (or all) of these wines, depending on your personal preference for wine style.

All four wines were received as review samples courtesy of Inter Beaujolais, Sopexa USA, and Social Media Group.


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