2017 Beaujolais Nouveau
Tasted courtesy of Interbeaujolais in Villefranche, 02 November 2017 Thursday is 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau day - here are 142 wines blind-tasted for you... For almost as long as I can remember, I always find myself a glass to drink on that day - but one is typically enough! Whatever you might think about the waning importance of Beaujolais Nouveau, in 2016, 25.2 million bottles of the stuff were sold. Outside of France, the largest markets are Japan, followed by the United States and Canada. But despite the contraction in sales over (at least) the last 10 years, the region still hasn't given up on this label. In an effort to improve the image of their wines, the producers have reduced their focus on crazy races to deliver bottles of dubious quality to restaurants of dubious quality, rather deciding to make the wines better - who would have thought of that? But on the other hand they have, at the same time, made your choice more complicated - today there isn't just one Beaujolais Nouveau, there are two - there is also the higher classification of Beaujolais Villages Nouveau! Just so that you don't have to (but feel free!), I tasted through 142 Nouveaux on the 2nd of November - 77 Beaujolais Nouveau (BJN) and 65 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau (BJVN). From the large first group of BJN, I picked out for you 9 absolutely delicious wines, and from the BJVNs I picked out 15 - but that was harder work, and here there is an additional complication: By and large the BJVN are more concentrated, more tannic and generally not for drinking on Thursday - you should probably wait at least 12 months for most of them to start drinking well! This rather begs the question, what are they for then? Discussing a with a fellow taster - writing for Bettane & Desseauve - it seems that this question, whilst entirely reasonable to me, is a very Anglo-Saxon question! The French, it seems, don't just drink BJN (or BJVN!) on the third Thursday in November. They visit a shop, select a BJN (or BJVN!), they buy a case, they drink one or two bottles on the third Thursday of November and then drink the rest over the next 12 months - until it's time to start all over again. It seems, that in French eyes (at least) that drinking this wine on only one day per year, is particularly Anglo-Saxon - so whilst we might struggle with the concept (or utility) of a BJN (or BJVN!) de garde - that's just our problem! 2017 with its warm and friendly vintage conditions - one hailstorm excepted - has provided wine of delicious ripeness and good character. The quality is generally high with many more 'hits' than 'misses' - nearly 20% I recommend highly, but 10% of the wines I wouldn't want to take a second glass... Anyway, all the following wines were tasted blind, I later mated the list of names my numbered tasting-notes, picking out those that I could highly recommend. The highly recommended wines follow directly. My favourite wine of the whole tasting being the wine (the BJVN wine!) of Maison Trenel - highlighted in that list. 9 selected Beaujolais Nouveaux, from 77 wines tasted: Château de L'Eclair, L 16401 Nose is super. Bright fresh delicious – this is really excellent - can it be so easy?! Duboeuf Georges Big, bright delicious nose. Lots of flavour, a little gas, but very tasty – yes! A great finish too. Mommessin Deep, mineral, dark fruit – nice. Again gas. Layers of flavour – great flavour here. Super! Paris Christophe This is a deep and attractive nose. Supple, nice texture, great finishing flavour too! Perroud Robert, Nature A heavy bottle. Very deep. Direct, linear, only slowly giving up its melting flavours. Superior wine here with a fine finish – yes! Fellot Emmanuel, Vieilles Vignes A concentrated nose of depth. Supple, great weight but fresh too. Mouth-watering flavour – more tannin than the last. A great finish – Yes! Château de la Valette - Crespin Jean Pierre Depth but slightly tight nose. Fresh, lovely mid-palate energy – hmm – not many like this. Yes! Oedoria, Coeur D'Automne Hmm – nice – open, complex and attractive nose. Lots of distinction in the flavour here – complex and delicious. Olivier Coquard, Nature Tight nose. Open and attractive, complex, fresh palate. Lots to find here – this is super! 15 selected Beaujolais Villages Nouveaux, from 66 wines tasted: Collin Bourisset, Cuvée à la Con Modest depth but an attractive width of dark and fresh fruit. Good volume, layered fresh fruit. Late arriving sucrosity and fine intensity. A lovely finish. Excellent! de Vermont Yannick Deep, complex, fresh – interesting! Volume, complexity - ooh – this is good! Excellent! Gelin Gilles, Le Vin des Copains A tight-ish but highly attractive nose of pure dark fruit. Lots of structure and some astringence of tannin. This is a wine to wait at least a year for but it is simply super wine. Domaine Joncy, La Trad'Nature Red wax topped. Wide and quite floral with an easy fruit I the middle. On the plate the texture is very silky, the flavours are quite individual but very floral and enticing. Delicious despite the young impression. Super! Tête Louis Nice, quite open and with good depth. In the mouth, plenty of dimension and complexity – this is very fine and a little saline too. Domaine de la Milleranche - Corsin J et Roussot S, Anima Vinum An inky-deep nose. Wide, fresh some decent intensity here. Layers of finishing flavour – very young finishing flavour! To wait for but with super material and more than a touch of finishing tannin Lacondemine Jérôme, Coeur de raisin Ooh – deep, floral – very lovely! Fresh, faintly mineral, lots of complexity. Great but painfully young wine. Superb Jambon Dominique A wide and fresh nose – highly attractive. Plenty of fresh volume. Slowly the waves of flavour wash over the palate. Really a great finish! Lafont Jean Marc, Cuvée Centenaire Also inky-deep but something very attractive and high-toned escapes the glass too. Supple, über-concentrated, layered flavour. Wait 3-5 years – no joke. Super wine! Dumas Pierre André, Cuvée vinifiée par Aurélie Durnerin Deep colour. Super concentrated nose with some modest high-tones escaping – attractive. Too much gas but so much energy and complexity. Super wine, delicious wine… Trenel Ooh a very lovely floral top note here – quite distinctive. Fresh, vigorous and delicious. There is depth and great interest for me here – this could be the best wine of the day… Ferraud P et Fils A tighter nose but of some saline interest. Really a lot of volume here, but the mouth-watering flavour cuts through the young tannin. Fine fresh fruit – excellent! Château de la Grand'Grange, Vieilles Vignes Nice fresh fruit on this nose – dark fruit – lovely. Supple, concentrated, layered flavour. Long. Super wine – nearly as good as #53… Domaine de Colette - Gauthier Jacky Plenty of volume and fresh aromatic complexity. Big, depth of flavour. Nice texture. Waves of fine finishing flavour. Another top wine… Chatelus Pascal Bottle 1 corked - the only one of the tasting. Here bottle 2. Deep nose that's tight above, more open below. Supple and concentrated. Layers of great flavour – this is excellent… Click here to see all the remaining notes!
2014 Blind Beaujolais Tasting
All tasted blind at ‘Interbeaujolais’ in Villefranche 25, 26 and 27 April 206. Virtually all the wines tasted here are from the 2014 vintage – as requested – but a few 2013s seemed to creep into the mix too. Whilst all were tasted blind, the ‘cru’ was known… Read More