Beaujolais blanc, Dom. Monrozier Fleurie and donkey sausage-yes,I said donkey

  I seem to be on a beaujolais kick at the moment. I wonder if it’s because I  had a Frenchwoman from Beaujolais staying with me? My friend Anne-Victoire of Miss Vicky Wines was in town to sell her wines. She put on a tasting at Borough Wines and featured not only her family wines but also a white Beaujolais! I had no idea that Beaujolais did white wines but they do, albeit at very small production. Most beaujolais blanc comes from the far north of Beaujolais overlapping with the Macon border. Producers would much rather market under the far more recognizable Maconnais label which is why there is so little beaujolais blanc. Anyway, the beaujolais blanc we tried was from the Ch. de Lavernette, they also produce Pouilly Fuisse, but the beaujolais blanc is 100% chardonnay from Beaujolais and is biodynamically produced. Made from 100% chardonnay and unoaked, it was an dry white with pleasant citrus aromas and flavours, not terribly complex but it went quite well with the soft cheeses being served alongside the wine.  Fleurie is my beaujolais of choice lately and Anne-Victoire had brought an ’05 for me to try. The Fleurie she brought was an ’05 from her family estate, Domaine Monrozier Chateau Les Moriers ’05. The vineyard has been family owned for over 150 years and great care and pride are taken in producing their wines. The domaine produces two wines, the Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent. As a matter of fact, you can see the famous Moulin-a-Vent of Beaujolais from the domaine’s vineyards.  The ’05 Fleurie I drank at home had a nose full of cherries, quite floral with a fair bit of minerality, surprisingly. It had evolved into a rather spicy character on the palate with plenty of black cherry, licorice and aniseed in the mix and quite smooth. It was quite different from the ’06 at the tasting. The ’06 Fleurie was bursting with  fruity aromas and flavours, cherry and raspberry being predominate, not as silky and smooth as the ’05, much more acidity. I preferred the ’05...

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Cru Beaujolais, way better than Nouveau

Beaujolais. Such a jaunty sounding word. It just seems like a happy place, doesn’t it? Well, it does to me. My first encounter with beaujolais was beaujolais nouveau. Not impressive, something to drink when you’ve got nothing better to do as far as I’m concerned. But to be fair, the Beaujolaises (I’m not really sure what you call people from there but I think this is close enough) have never pretended that Beaujolais nouveau was anything more then a fun easy drinking glugger. Beaujolais nouveau is produced, as all beaujolais is, from the gamay grape and is a lightweight, fruity wine, meant to be drunk young. Thanks to some brillant marketing, people all over the world wait for the release of Beaujolais nouveau which is always the third Thursday in November. As a matter of fact, the Japanese eagerly anticipate Beaujolais nouveau to take a bath in it! Those crazy Japanese… But there is a lot more to Beaujolais then nouveau. Beaujolais is classified just as all grape regions are in France and has it’s own AOC or appellation controlee system. Beginning with the all encompassing Beujolais AOC (where most beaujolais nouveau comes from), moving onto Beaujolais Villages AOC which includes 39 commune/villages in the Haut Beaujolais and finally the cru Beaujolais which consists of 10 villages in the foothills of the Beaujolais mountains. The 10 villages are Fleurie, Moulin-a-Vent, Chenas, Brouilly, Cote-de-Brouilly, Chiroubles, Saint-Amour, Julienas, Morgon, and Regnie. Interestingly, the cru Beaujolais are not allowed to produce beaujolais nouveau. Despite all being produced from the gamay varietal, the Cru Beaujolais  differ greatly in character. Brouilly, Regnie and Chiroubles are all light bodied and fruity and meant to be consumed within 3 years. Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie and Saint Amour all produce more medium bodied, feminine and floral wines which benefit from a year’s aging in bottle before drinking and can last up to 4 years. The last 4 villages, Chenas, Julienas, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent, produce the fullest bodied wines, spicy with good structure, they...

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