I'm skipping the Beaujolais Nouveau this year. I'm not angry, I'm not making a stance about the issue, but I've been disappointed the past two years, and recently I've tasted eight great Crus, all with a couple of years' worth of age on them. If I'm at a party and someone pours me a glass of Bojo Novo? I will accept it happily and drink merrily in the spirit of friendship. But instead of the usual posts this time of year about the Nouveau, I'm delighted to be able to write about some amazing wines that are from the same grape, region, and cost only a few bucks extra, but taste incredible.
I was happy to participate in another TasteLive event showcasing Beaujolais, but honestly one part of this really drew my attention. I finally got the chance to try the last of the 10 Crus... After digging around in bins and shelves for years, in six different states during various travels, the Côte de Brouilly shows up on my doorstep as a sample. Many good things have happened to me because of my scribblings upon this site, but finishing off the Beaujolais region was particularly special.
2006 Christophe Pacalet Côte de Brouilly
$17, 13% abv.
Wild strawberries, very light aroma, equally delicate body, and a finish that's almost gone before you realized you took a sip. This isn't a criticism--sometimes I like a wine that lasts for hours after one taste, and sometimes I prefer one that disappears like a shooting star.
2005 Pascal Granger Earl Juliénas
$24, 13% abv.
Tart raspberries, decent tannic structure, a bold wine. I've generally been happy with the Juliénas I've had in the past, and fortunately it is one of the Crus that is more well known and easy to find around the country. Trivial note: this region is named after Julius Caesar, a reference to the development of the area as a wine region during his reign.
2007 Louis-Claude Desvinges Morgon
$20, 13% abv.
Surprising dark plum aroma, full dark fruit flavor. Little smoky, touch of raw beef. The theme of this tasting was to highlight the "masculine" side of Beaujolais, and this was perhaps the best representative of that style.
2008 Domaine Diochon Vieilles Vignes Moulin-à-Vent
$21, 13% abv.
Plum and ash, light, with a touch of tartness on the finish. Very short finish, mild and mellow overall. This is one of those melt-in-your-mouth wines that disappears quickly, leaving only a trace of acidity. I've read that the wines from this windmill-named region can last ten years or more, but I was pleased with the performance of this one at such an early age.
Note: These wines were received as samples.