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*Disclaimer: I received the four Beaujolais wines as samples to participate in this Taste Live event.

Last week I had the chance to participate in a Taste Live event organized by Creative Furnace, Social Media Group, and Discover Beaujolais featuring wines of the Beaujolais region of France .

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the Taste Live format provides an opportunity for a group of wine bloggers throughout the US to taste the same wines and share their tasting notes and thoughts live via Twitter.

Normally, a Taste Live event includes two to four wines from one producer tasted in succession from lightest to heaviest.  This particular Taste Live format was setup as a head-to-head comparative tasting of two Beaujolais classifications – Beaujolais –Village versus Moulin-A-Vent (one of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais).

Unfortunately, many excellent Beaujolais wines suffer from ‘guilt by association’ syndrome because of Beaujolais Nouveau – that very young, poor quality juice with the bright, flowery labels intended to appeal to impulse (label) buyers each November (3rd Thursday).

A Beaujolais Primer: 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 is home to ten hillside villages that produce the regions best wines.

Although the number of Twitter participants seemed lower than normal, a lot of great information and tasting notes were shared via Twitter.  To join us in the tasting, we invited our friends Rob and Jen over to help us work on the four bottles.

The tasting line up. Photo by Rob Cordosi.

A few general tweets of interest before/during the tasting:

Some Bojo facts – 38% of production is Nouveau, 12% Villages and almost 34% Cru now #Beaujolais   ~ @DiscoverBojo

The Moulin a Vent wines are vinified the same as a Burgundy Pinot Noir from a few miles to the north. #Beaujolais  ~ @DiscoverBojo

Cru Beaujolais in general – approachable, friendly, fruity, low tannins, and high acidity.  ~ @DrinkWhatULike

Our group started with the George Duboeuf 2009 Beaujolais-Villages ($12).  The 2009 vintage is supposed to be ‘the’ epic year in Beaujolais, but this particular Village wine didn’t reflect the awesomeness of the ’09 vintage (just my opinion).  Thoughts on this wine from the live #ttl and #beaujolais stream:

NOW for the 07 DeBoeuf Garnet color  ~ @BrixChick_Liza

@DiscoverBojo Wow. Going back to the Duboeuf B-V is like drinking fresh strawberry juice. SO different from the Cru wines. #beaujolais  ~ @lenndevours

Deboeuf ’09 B-Vill – seems ‘flat/one dimensional’ … hmm…  #TTL ~ @DrinkWhatULike

We quickly moved on to one of my favorite value wine producers – Louis Jadot 2009 Beaujolais-Villages ($13).  I’ve had several vintages of this wine and enjoyed them, especially the 2008.  The Louis-Jadot 2008 Beaujolais-Village serves as our current ‘house wine’ because of the excellent QPR, consistency and enjoyability factor.

#ttl #beaujolais #bojo 09 Jadot BV Lovely Garnet color. Interesting shifting nose of coconut, red fruit, etc  ~ @BrixChick_Liza

#Beaujolais 2009 Beau.Village Jadot – summer fruit nose – tart fruit on the palate – Carbonic Maceration?   ~ @brixchik_xan

Louis-Jadot 09 B-Vill – like it, violets, hints of cherry and spice, rocks/mineral, nice acidity #TTL ~ @DrinkWhatULike

Ok – so we’ve build a strong consensus for 2009 Jadot as the winner for the Villages flight #Beaujolais ~@DiscoverBojo

Moving from the lighter Beaujolais-Village to the more complex wines of Moulin-a-Vent – Georges Duboeuf 2007 Domaine de la Tour du Bief from Moulin-à-Vent ($17).

Deboeuf ’07 Moulin-A-Vent – first impression stinky cheese or locker(?). #TTL ~ @DrinkWhatULike

For me the 07 Georges Duboeuf Moulin-A-Vent was the stand out. #TTL #Beaujolais #Bojo  ~ @MelissaDobson

#Beaujolais 2007 Duboeuf M-A-V -very earthy with brett, thin on palate; I want more acidic oomph. ~ @brixchik_xan

07 deBoeuf The Flavor says Old World..whispery tannins and an acidity like a back talking teenager WHooo! ~ @BrixChick_Liza

Pouring the Duboeuf 07 Moulin-a-Vent: Savory spice notes and cocoa powder over dark berry — cherry and blkberry. Really savory #beaujolais ~ @Lenndevours

Deboeuf ’07 Moulin-A-Vent – stinky seems to be blowing off, getting strawberry – would have expected darker fruit #TTL  ~ @DrinkWhatULike

The final wine of the tasting was the Louis Jadot 2007 Château des Jacques Moulin-à-Vent ($19).

Jadot ’07 Moulin-A-Vent – Nice, aromas of spice, pepper, some dark fruit. Get mineral finish #TTL ~ @DrinkWhatULike

#Beaujolais 2007 Jadot M-A-V – yummy smooth palate, well-balanced, spice on nose with fruit. my fave ~ @brixchik_xan

Jadot ’07 Moulin-A-Vent: light-bodied, elegant, alcohol more subtle. Nice finish. #TTL #Bojo #Beaujolais  ~ @MelissaDobson

The clear standout of the tasting for our group was the Louis-Jadot 2009 Beaujolais-Village – another great example of the solid QPR wines coming out of Beaujolais.  If they ‘case discount’ retail price is lower than $10/bottle, this one could be our house wine for fall.

As always, Taste Live was a fun, fast-paced, enjoyable event.  A big thanks to Cailyn and Hasdeep for organizing this event – and to Rob and Jen for coming over, chatting, eating our food, drinking this wine, and taking photos. 😉