Monday, April 11, 2011

Cru Beaujolais: Excellent Wine at a Modest Price

You may be saying to yourself: "Bob has finally walked the plank.  How can he be recommending Beaujolais, that stuff is like water." Ok. Admittedly, there is a lot of Beaujolais out there that is distinctly inferior.  But not all Beaujolais is bad and worthy of scorn. Duboeuf Morgon Jean Descombes 2009 is one of those wines that is enjoyable, simple, yet substantial, and very reasonably priced.  Let me explain a little about Beaujolais before letting you know about a recent example of how Beaujolais can be enjoyable and add much to a meal. 

AOC Beaujolais: This is a young, inexpensive fruity wine which contains the dreaded Beaujolais Nouveau released only weeks after being harvested.  It is undistinguished and newly born.  These wines don't merit attention.  Some people do find them refreshing and fruity and, importantly, easy on the wallet.

AOC Beaujolais-Villages: This appellation accounts for up to a quarter of all the Beaujolais produced.  It tends to be of a higher quality than the regular or Beaujolais Nouveau.  The wines are more complex and fuller bodied.  There are many good wines to choose from in this category.  Louis Jadot is a good representative of this type.

AOC Cru du Beaujolais: These are the wines grown in the top ten zones in the area and can possess very high qualities.  Cru Beaujolais is a top tier wine that is worthy of attention and enjoyment.  The wine has been overlooked due to the poor reputation gained by the Beaujolais Nouveau that floods the country every fall.  

2009 Georges Duboeuf Morgon Jean Descombes: We were lucky enough to share this wine with the Molloys and the Browns at a belated St. Patrick's Day Party.  I was obsessing about which wine to bring knowing that Florence was making a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner.  This hearty food is notoriously difficult to pair.  Our good friend and wine expert, Kim Caldwell, warned against the pairing but thought it might be worth a try.  Lo and behold, it worked wonderfully.  The wine was juicy with good body. It was deep in color with a spice running through it that was invigorating.  It had notes of berries, a smokiness and a firm, enjoyable finish.  Most importantly, it complemented the dinner perfectly.  Our good friend Alden gave the thumbs up nod.  

Some other good Cru Beaujolais wines are:

2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon 
2008 Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain & Granit

The Beaujolais Cru wines are inexpensive and of very high quality.  Many can be purchased for under $20.00.  

No comments: