We celebrated the release of the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau by not buying any.  I’ve read that the carbon footprint to get Nouveau here to the States is ridiculous and is reason many give for avoiding the Nouveau.  I don’t buy it because I think it sucks for the most part.  However, I do feel that the gamay grape is underappreciated so I took the occasion of the release of Nouveau to have a real Beaujolais taste off at Chateau Morgan.

Gamay is the predominate grape of the Beaujolais region and is typically fresh, fruity, easy drinking and uncomplicated.  The Beaujolais area is only 34 miles from North to South and 8 miles wide but produces millions of cases of wine (much of that in the form of Nouveau).  Beaujolais is sometimes considered a reasonable economical alternative to Burgundy.

There are four ‘types’ or classifications of Beaujolais (from lowest to highest quality):

  • Beaujolais Nouveau: Released very young third Thursday of November.
  • Beaujolais: Can come from grapes grown anywhere in the Beaujolais region.
  • Beaujolais-Villages: These wines are made from grapes grown in thirty-nine villages in the center of the Beaujolais region.
  • Cru Beaujolais: This is the northern part of the Beaujolais region and his home to ten hillside villages that produce the regions best wines.

For tonight’s tasting, I picked one Cru Beaujolais from the Morgon and one from Beaujolais-Villages.

beaujolais-small2007 Jean-Marc Burgaud, Morgon, Beaujolais– I picked this up at Lets Talk Wine in Chesapeake for $18.99.  Morgon is one of the 10 Crus of the Beaujolais and is known to produce some of the most robust Beaujolais wines.  Light ruby color.  On the nose I found Strawberry, rubber band and a metallic/rustic aroma along with a slight hint of earthy pepper.  I put this in a decanter and went back to it about an hour later and there was a distinct blueberry aroma on the nose as well.  Light tannic structure along with that same metallic/rust and strawberry in the mouth.   Short on the finish.

2005 Prosper Maufoux Beaujolais-Villages– $9 for ½ bottle at grocery store.  Darker ruby color.  Light cranberry/currant and cherry on the nose along with an earth component.  Weak tannic structure with cherry’s on the finish.

Although I did enjoy both of these wines, they seemed very light on the finish which surprised me for the Jean-Marc Burgaud given the fact that the Morgon is known for more robust wines.

Below are a couple of Beaujolais related articles by Dr. Vino you may find interesting:

Appellation America – Ditch Beaujolais, Drink Local this November 20

Cru Beaujolais: some factoids