Yesterday we celebrated the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau, but explored the region a bit further.
Wine 1: 2003 Georges Dubuf Macon-Villages Blanc. Macon, France. From the Domaine des Chenevières, this is all Chardonnay. There's an enchanting aroma of licorice early on, and the wine is wonderfully mellow. Unoaked, creamy, fruit forward, and with just a touch of sweetness. $14.
Wine 2: 2003 Georges Dubuf Borgogne Aligoté. Burgundy, France. The other white grape of Burgundy, I think this is the first pure Aligoté I've had. I wasn't impressed--it was thin, slightly bitter, and had no dominant flavors. All in all, reminded me a lot of my nemesis Pinot Grigio. $14.
Wine 3: 2005 Louis Tete Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais, France. There was a tiny edge of bananas and a mild cherry flavor, but ultimately thin even for Beaujolais Nouveau. And note that I make a distinction between mild and thin--the former has muted flavors but good overall structure, and a thin wine just tastes watered down. $13.
Wine 3½: 2004 Georges Dubuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais, France. Not an official part of the tasting, but at the last minute they dug up some bottles of the '04 to allow for comparison tasting. While I loved this vintage when it came out, I'm afraid that it has become flat and slightly acidic. $5.
Wine 4: 2005 Georges Dubuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais, France. My second tasting of this year's release. It was a little softer today, but still with a surprising bite to it. The cherry flavors are more intense in this wine than in the previous two listed here. $12.
Wine 5: 2004 Chateau de La Chaize Brouilly. Beaujolais, France. Brouilly is one of the appellations within Beaujolais, which are often referred to as the crus to avoid confusion with the nouveaux. Still made entirely from Gamay, this is a stronger wine with better balance, more fruit, and a touch of strawberries. No banana aromas, and a firm finish. Lovely wine. $15.
Wine 6: 2003 Domaine des Pins Saint-Amour. Beaujolais, France. Another cru, this one from Saint-Amour. Wow. A touch of pine aroma, good round red fruit. With the tiny bite and overall well-rounded construction, this one really reminded me of a mild Côtes du Rhône. $17.
Wine 7: 2003 Domaine des Sablons Saint-Amour. Beaujolais, France. Another cru from Saint-Amour, this one is bottled by Georges Dubuf. This wine is all about strawberries, and not overripe ones either. The smell and flavor match up quite well, but this wine has great structure and balance. Definitely a great one to use to convert a hater of Gamay or Beaujolais in general. $17.
Wine 8: 2003 Girardin Cuvee Saint-Vincent Bourgogne. Burgundy, France. It was odd to taste a Pinot Noir after all the other grapes, but we started in the north, dipped south, and might as well end up back north. There was an earthy start with some raspberry flavors. Slight off aftertaste, but I think this one really needs food to help fully appreciate it. $20.