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Ten Things I Just Learned About Beaujolais

I recently wrote about a Chilean tasting that I experienced.

That was followed very closely by another virtual tasting called, The Feminine Side of Beaujolais.

DiscoverBeaujolais.com just held a TasteLive! event, and I was invited.

Pinch me…

I’m not only so lucky to be tasting wines from around the world, but I’m also brought into the fold of an exceptional learning curve. I don’t know where else I would have this opportunity to taste so many delicious wines at one time, and in the comfort of my own home (or my other favorite place to taste wines ~  Chinois Asian Bistro ~ as in the Chilean wine event).

I’m provided the wines for a learning experience, the backup materials, and I get to set up my environment. It’s an amazing thing, from where I’m currently sitting. I have to thank the universe for however this has come about.

To The Tasting

The tasting panel and I were provided with four different wines, and we tasted in this order, and we used the Twitter # tag of #Beaujolais

Top 10

  1. Beaujolais is one of the oldest wine growing regions in France along with the Rhone and Languedoc.
    • It was born during Roman times, and blossomed in 17th century.
  2. The Gamay variety has a lot of range.
    • I didn’t expect this, especially since we were going to be tasting lighter Beaujolais.
  3. The wines were beautiful, and I would search each one out, now that I know how good they are.
  4. I love Beaujolais wines. Before the tasting, I hadn’t every really focused on one.
    • So much to learn, so little time.
  5. @Whineaux wrote and I agree… “I personally think Beaujolais is under-rated. Bordeaux gets all the PR!”
    • I attributed that to Robert Mondavi. He was a master, and I got to experience this while working at the winery. I got a few kisses on my cheek while there…
  6. We tasted wet stones with the Alain Coudert… First time ever for that, and didn’t know that that could be a flavor in a wine.
    • From the Beaujolais site: “…geological characteristics here including shallow limestone-clay and sandstone soils in the south, crystalline soils that are light and acidic on the heights and granitic terrain in the north.”
  7. Alcohol levels were beautiful:
    • Domaine Cheysson, Chiroubles, 2009 ~ 12.5%
    • Henry Fessy, Brouilly, 2009 ~ 13.5%
    • Charly Thevenet “Grain et Granit”, Règniè, 2009 ~ 13.0%
    • Alain Coudert, Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie, 2009 ~ 13.0%
  8. Beaujolais has a feminine side, much the way that Pinot Noir does… French sisters…
  9. There will be a Masculine Side of Beaujolais, and I can hardly wait for that one, but I’m patient and will wait for the universe to deliver it to me.
  10. The European palate is more patient than that of the United States. After all, we introduced fat food… Oh, I’m sorry, I meant “fast food.”
    • We don’t care about aging wine the way it’s ingrained in the European culture, because we’re too new to the concept of “slow” anything… as it would appear by our national epidemic of obesity.

[This image is borrowed from the Discover Beaujolais Website. Copyright belongs to Daniel Gillet.]

I’ve borrowed it to support my statement above. Any country that still employs wind mills tells you a lot about the people who live there. Getting their energy remains, “Green.” Whomever owns this windmill has never been in a particular hurry. Its presence in Beaujolais tells me that I’d love to visit this region of France; not just for the wines, but also for the culture.

There will be a Masculine Side of Beaujolais, and I can hardly wait for that one, but I’m patient and will wait for the universe to deliver it to me.

The Domaine Cheysson, Chiroubles, 2009 “has a pretty color,” I wrote in my notes. It was a cross between strawberries and full ripe red raspberries. The aromas drew me in, and the flavors were tart, lively, layered with complexity, and reminded me of rose petals, black tea, and peonies.

The Henry Fessy, Brouilly, 2009 was heartier than the first Beaujolais. I immediately knew that this one would pair well with hearty cheeses. Then, as I reviewed the tech sheet, there it was… “Bold cheeses, T-Bone steak or rib-eyes, BBQed red meat, charcuterie and refined hors d’oeuvres are all good food pairing for this one.” The wine was very dry, but had beautiful fruit structure. It wasn’t as complicated as the first, but it delivered great fruit and tremendous value.

Charly Thevenet “Grain et Granit”, Règniè, 2009 is where I absolutely fell in love with Beaujolais. This one was like enjoying a Pinot Noir. Ever so slight in body, and as elegant as a six foot model walking down a runway with something silky and flowing… It blew me away. Strawberries, violets, and roses… strewn before her as she glides forward.

Alain Coudert, Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie, 2009, much bolder and definitely a hearty red meat wine, notes of leather, wood smoke, and forest floor… Talk about a sense of place. This is a dripping with juice wine and fine tannins on the finish. This one was the one what has a lot of age worthiness.

What’s next? We’ll be doing a tasting with “manly” Crus – Cote de Brouilly, Julienas, Chenas, Morgon, Moulin a Vent!

I got to Discover Beaujolais, and I highly recommend that you step outside of your comfort zone to experience these delicious wines, if you’ve not already done that.

Here’s to Gamay!

Au revoir à vous, merci beaucoup, et à tout à l’heure’!

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6 Responses to “Ten Things I Just Learned About Beaujolais”

  1. Wonderful and timely post. After doing some research for my blog re: Thanksgiving wine I recommended Cru Beaujolais. I’m definitely going to try some with my Thanksgiving meal. I especially appreciate your comments re: the range of gamay and the lower alcohol levels.

  2. Jo Diaz says:


    Yes, it is timely, and that’s only by accident, as it happened. That said, getting so close to Turkey Day, the association was a really simple one. Now, I’ve got the second round of Beaujolais to write about… Just happened this past Wednesday, and they were remarkable.

    Again, the alcohols were low for us (US tasters) at 13 percent; but, we were reminded that even 13 percent is high for these wines (which amazed me).

    The range with this new set wasn’t as markedly different… Still, they were each unique.

  3. tom merle says:

    This is a distinctly American holiday going all the way back to the 1621 gathering between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag at Plymouth Colony. The use of the turkey in the USA for Thanksgiving precedes Lincoln’s nationalization of the holiday in 1863. Alexander Hamilton proclaimed that no “Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day,” and many of the Founding Fathers (particularly Benjamin Franklin) had high regard for the wild turkey as an American icon.

    In light of this may I suggest the J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié from the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County (and at $10 a great deal). Originally thought to be the Gamay Noir grape of France’s Beaujolais winegrowing region, U.C. Davis has since identified this grape to be Valdiguié from an area in the southwest of France. Regardless of its origin and identity, Valdiguié grown in this windy, cold part of California produces a wine reminiscent of the ‘Crus’ of Beaujolais – Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent.

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Great recommendation and reason for doing it, Tom. My great grandfather (11 times removed) arrived in 1623, sent by King James to preach his version of the Bible, and keep the ex-patriots in religious line. (Great grandfather William Blackstone is known for founding Boston, as a result of where he wanted to be.) O think a great finisher to the Thanksgiving meal would be a Port wine, since the British are famous for loving ports, and encouraging Portuguese trade to England, as well…

    Happy Thanksgiving, Tom.

  5. zJvh7I says:

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  6. Jo Diaz says:

    Dear 552344,

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