Last year was so nice, that now we’re doing it twice…
Did you know:
- Beaujolais is the most wide-spread of the region’s appellations, which covers 27 square miles and 72 villages?
- The Beaujolais grape is Gamay, making up 99 percent of what the region offers?
- Beaujolais is the lightest, most refreshing region in France?
I now do, based on the samples that I’ve received from this region; and, I encourage you to become familiar with Beaujolais, if you’re not already enjoying these wines. Nouveau is really fine and dandy. Aged Nouveaus are exquisite. Perfect for our upcoming holiday bird and ham dishes, these wines are just so refreshing. A Beaujolais slightly chilled is a delightful experience.
Some of the following wines I tasted on my own. Then, with #BeaujoliasNouveauDay approaching (November 17, 2011), I decided to share these wines and get a good, collective read on them. The tasting team consisted of the following:
- Sommelier/chef/proprietor Chang Liow (Chinois Asian Bistro)
- Ceri and Ken Waggoner (www.alawine.com)
- Jose Diaz (Diaz Communications and josephotos.com)
- Jo Diaz (Diaz Communications and Wine-blog.org)
We met at Chinois and tasted one wine at a time, discussing each one as we went along. Then, after our tasting we enjoyed the wines with foods from Chinois’ delicious, light cuisine. The foods paired perfectly with all of the wines. It was just all so good. Throughout the night Jose and I talked about how the Waggoners had just come into our lives, and we were having such a great time. We all parted company singing, Will You Still Friend Me Tomorrow … ♪♪♫•*¨*•.♥ ♪♫•*¨ **•♫♪… There are rare moments when wine, food, and friends all come together with no pretension and simply fun enjoyment. This was one of those rare occasions.
This year’s offerings of voluptuously gorgeous Beaujolais:
- 2009 Pierre Chermette Beaujolais (tasted alone)
- This wine has a beautiful garnet color that’s slightly translucent. Aromas wafted upward from the glass as I looked deep into its soul, aromas that invited me to swirl and sniff… Plums emerged with a touch of spice at the end that made me say, “Ummm.” I couldn’t wait to taste this one, and it didn’t disappoint. Rich, dark cherry flavors, with a touch of cinnamon lingered on my palate, as I thought about how beautiful this wine is tasting. I have Boston baked beans cooking in the over for dinner, to which I’ve added some fresh salsa to my mother’s traditional recipe. I’m going* to enjoy this wine with brown rice and baked beans for dinner, and all will be well with the world. This is a gorgeous wine, and if you can get your hands (and palate) on it, I highly recommend it. [*It was a great food and wine pairing, as I thought it would be.]
- This wine is being held for Thanksgiving, because last year’s tasting with Louis Jadot taught me that this is one special wine, and deserving of a very special moment and wonderful family and friends.
- A gorgeous nose of juicy cherries and touches of spice, we dubbed this one an easily quaffable Beaujolais. The flavors were delicious, stating with those ripe cherries, sandalwood, and black pepper spice. It was a tad tannic, which told us that it’s still maturing in the bottle. You could hold off on this one for another year or two, but tannins are fine with me.
- This wine immediately invoked the poet within…
Oh, Beaujolais Fleurie, your juice is like sweet music to me
Wafting in my empty room
Drifting in and out with richness and style
Pulling me in the direction of wanting to save you all for myself
Not sharing you with anyone else… hoarding your supple flavors
Gorging on your essence… rich plums, strawberries, raspberries,
and earthy notes associated with the most decadent of truffles,
hints of oak nuts… so much to love…
And yet, what would you be if I were to not share you
But a glass of wine that only I can think of by myself?
No, I will… Nay, must share you with the love of my life,
so that we, in years gone by will speak of you endearingly
and the day that we shared our love for you
in a delicious menage a trois.
- 2009 Damien Coquelet Chiroubles (Group tasting)
- Flavors of plum and dark cherries, this was a very earthy wine. The winemaker enjoys having a bit of brett in his wine, by the obvious nose… So do I like a bit of brett, too. (Bret = Brettanomyces is a non-spore forming genus of yeast in the family Saccharomycetaceae, and is often colloquially referred to as “Brett”.) I was the biggest fan of this wine, because it does have cheese on the nose, but that didn’t translate tot he palate. What’s really interesting to me is that I won’t eat smelly cheeses, but like the aroma in wine. Serious cheese eaters have the opposite reaction, so I’m thinking this is a DNA thing, but have no such proof. It’s purely a hypothesis. This one would be delicious with Tex Mex wontons that I love making. They’re deep fat fried won tons with ground beef, minced onions and peppers, jack cheese, all wrapped in a won ton, then put into fat to fry. Decadent and delicious…
- A very delicate Beaujolais, this one was a real favorite… I found myself at the end of the bottle, draining it. There was a distinct minerality to this wine, and it had a cotton candy sweetness to it, without the residual sugar. Hints of raspberries, this one brought back memories of berry picking with my grandfather. It was a lovely wine, and this one I’ll look for to purchase. While I don’t have to buy much wine, this one goes on the shopping list.
- One of the more luscious wines I’ve had in a very long time. Opulent aromas and flavors knocked my socks off. This wine was brought with me to a luncheon gathering, on a Sunday afternoon. We all loved the rich plum flavors, the lower alcohol, the wine’s terroir uniquely expressed. This is a very well made wine, and ever so delicious.
- This was a great dinner wine, because it had a much wider range than those any of us had yet tasted. It was also bigger than any of the others I had tasted on my own, separately. It is also a very commercial wine. We could all see how the masses would adore this one. It’s a crowd pleaser of an aged Beaujolais. this was the point in the evening when Ken dubbed me Beau-Jo-Lady. (I’ll take it.) There is great balance both on the front of this wine, and also on the back end of it. Ruby in color, the garnet color make it perfect for bolder dishes; and the hints of clove on the finish knocked my socks off.
- Has those rapturous colors of not being filtered or fined. The nose had gorgeous aromas of plum and a touch of toast. The flavors followed the nose with rich plums and a touch of vanilla. I loved its medium body weight, and its velvet texture made me think to myself, “What a gorgeous wine.”
- Delightful flavors of strawberries and cotton candy…but dry cotton candy. There’s no hint of residual sugar with this wine, just that satisfying rush you get from being so indulgent as to delight in cotton candy. It’s vibrant and alive, and would pair well with a tri-tip sandwich with au jus.
- With its very modern label, every bit of it was fun and refreshing. Its flavors were a touch tart, leaning toward the blackberries that I’ve been enjoying in my back yard, which I’ve been nurturing for their fruit. This Beaujolais would actually pair well with an apple-blackberry pie that I’ll be making this Thanksgiving, loaded with Häagen-Dazs’ vanilla bean ice cream. Very yummy, all around.
- Of the six Beaujolais that we tasted, this one ranked as the official “Crowd Pleaser” or “Best of Class.” Rich, voluptuous flavors of dark cherries and black tea, with that touch of cracked black pepper spice which wrapped around our palates in juicy fruit. What a gorgeous wine, and it left us totally hungry for Chinois’ dishes to see where it would all go, and what bottles would get drained. With six bottles and four people, we left Chang with some wine to share with his customers; and we were all completely satisfied… Again, singing, Will You Still Friend Me Tomorrow … ♪♪♫•*¨*•.♥ ♪♫•*¨ **•♫♪…