In a wine rut? Ok, we all have been there. Get your taste-buds ready for some approachable French wine that will be chilled to perfection just in time for spring. The wines from Beaujolais are fresh, wonderfully structured, fruit forward, are low in tannins and can be served chilled!
The French wines of the Beaujolais region are made from handpicked Gamay grapes. The Beaujolais region is best known for its light red wines, which have a refreshing flavor profile and taste great chilled. A small amount of French white wine and pink rosé is also made in the Beaujolais region.
Many Beaujolais winemakers enhance the wine’s fruity character by vinifying Gamay grapes using carbonic maceration. In this method, the grapes are not pressed, but piled into a vat. The grapes at the bottom are crushed by the weight of the grapes on top. This juice ferments, and eventually causes fermentation to begin inside the skins of the unbroken grapes.
Like many French regions, Beaujolais ranks its vineyard sites from ordinary vineyards, that can produce simple “Beaujolais,” to vineyards from higher-ranked villages that can label their wines “Beaujolais-Villages.”
Those wines tend to more complex flavors, more structure than”ordinary” Beaujolais. Most importantly, vineyards in the 10 Beaujolais Crus can label their wines with the Cru name only…so, Morgon, can be used rather than Beaujolais. The wines designated “Cru” represent the best of the Beaujolais:
Each of these 10 Crus: north to south: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-a-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly, offers its own flavor profiles, and characteristics…
Dave McIntyre From the Washington Post and His 5 Beaujolais Picks
Les Vins Georges Duboeuf Domaine des Rosiers Moulin-à-Vent 2014
★ ★ ½
Beaujolais, France, $25
One of Duboeuf’s domaine wines from a Beaujolais cru, the Domaine des Rosiers shines with red-fruit flavors and a hint of wood spice to give it complexity. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Distributed by Southern: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Wide World of Wines; on the list at Claudia’s.
Paul Durdilly Les Grandes Coasses 2015
Beaujolais, France, $12
This effusively delicious Beaujolais — from the wider regional appellation rather than one of the smaller crus — offers the fun fruitiness of a Beaujolais nouveau, accented by the smoky complexity of a more serious wine. Buy this by the case and enjoy it over the next two to three years. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at D’Vines, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; on the list at Kapnos Kouzina in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Ashburn Wine Shop, Arrowine and Cheese, Cheesetique in Arlington, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
This $12 Bordeaux is the perfect bottle for wine-loving cheapskates
The back story: A budget Bordeaux? Normally, we don’t think of the famed French wine, which is indeed sourced form the country’s Bordeaux region, as something cheap. But Be Bordô is aiming to change that. The new label is the brainchild of Stephane … This $12 Bordeaux is the perfect bottle for wine-loving cheapskates
Jean-Marc Lafont Saint-Amour 2012
★ ★ ½ GREAT VALUE
Beaujolais, France, $20
At its best, a Beaujolais cru wine can mimic Burgundy. This Saint-Amour is elegant and nimble, with a dancer’s grace. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Wine Cabinet in Reston.
Domaine Foretal Juliénas 2013
★ ★ GREAT VALUE
Beaujolais, France, $18
This Beaujolais cru is full of dark red-fruit flavors; it’s a bit moody compared to the usual cheerfulness of Beaujolais, perfect for a cool rainy night. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by Wine Traditions: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Tastings of Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Vienna Vintner.
The Best-Value French Wines for Your Money
Mr. Raffault opened a range of bottles for me, including a juicy 2015 Chinon rosé ($15), a 2015 Les Galuches that he said was “very popular in French bistros” and cost a mere $18, and one of his best wines, the 2014 Clos d’Isoré, a rich, complex red … The Best-Value French Wines for Your Money
Les Dauphins Rosé Réserve 2015
★ ★ GREAT VALUE
Côtes du Rhône, France, $9
A crisp, clear rosé with strawberry and watermelon flavors. I’ve loved this great-value pink for several vintages, and 2015 does not disappoint. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton
Beaujolais Nouveau on Flickr