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28th October 2019 by Rachel Wallhouse
Beaujolais isn’t just about Beaujolais Nouveau, it has so much more to offer! The Beaujolais region stretches 34 miles from the granite-based hills just south of Macon (which is the southern end of Burgundy) to the much flatter land northwest of Lyon. In total, Beaujolais produces almost as much wine as the rest of the Burgundy wine regions put together. In “Bas” Beaujolais the soil is clay over granite and limestone, notably in the area of the Pierres Dorees, the golden stones, which add lustre to some of the prettiest villages in France. Wine made on this flatter land is plain Beaujolais, very fresh and new, and rarely keeps well. As for the northern part of the region “Haut” Beaujolais, it is granite-based, with a sandy topsoil that drains, warms and ripens the Gamay, often to perfection. Here, you can find wines with the right to the appellation “Beaujolais-Villages”. These wines are almost always worth paying the extra money for!
The main grape variety found in Beaujolais is Gamay, which is perfectly suited to the area. Gamay is a black grape variety that typically produces a red fruit forward wine. This grape variety ripens early and produces high yields, so it does quite well in both moderate and cool climate wine growing regions. Most moderate-climate Gamay is light-bodied, with elevated acidity and little or even no tannin. This makes Gamay varietal wines exceptionally easy to drink.
The great majority of Beaujolais today is made by carbonic maceration, in which whole bunches of grapes go into a sealed vat uncrushed, and the grapes begin fermenting internally. In addition, carbonic maceration helps ease the noticeability of the acidic side of the Gamay grape. It is worth noting that a number of Beaujolais Crus have begun to implement more traditional Burgundian styles of wine making in an effort to add more complexity. Premium producers are now incorporating more oak aging which is helping to extend the life and flavour of these wines.
If you would like to taste a range of Beaujolais wines, then our enomatic machine is perfect for you! Find the list of wines below.
Beaujolais has so much to offer, so to celebrate we’ve picked 8 of our favourites and cracked them open. Sample any of the wines for just £1, sip a 75ml glass for £3 and enjoy a 125ml glass for £5.
Here’s our current selection:
1. Du Grappin, Saint Amour, 2016
Region: St. Amour, Beaujolais
Known as Obelix around the vineyards of Burgundy, on account of his stature and beard, Andrew is a firm believer of picking later than his peers. Bright, crunchy fruit flavours, light red cherry and raspberry. Very light tannins, and a faint savoury note at the finish. Enjoy with feathered game lightly roasted.
2. Domaine Matray, Julienas, 2015
Region: Julienas, Beaujolais
Beaujolais has been a grape growing region from the time of Julius Caesar, hence the village name. The fruit aromas are a bit more stewed, richer riper plum and black raspberry. The acidity is a bit softer after spending time in old oak barrels. Enjoy with wild duck or pheasant.
3. Croix Barraud, Chenas, 2014
Region: Chenas, Beaujolais
Snuggled in between Julienas and Moulin-a-Vent, Chenas is the smallest of the Beaujolais Crus. Very fresh acidity, cherry and plum notes on the nose. Much darker palate, ripe, and spiced notes. Enjoy with cheese boards.
4. Cuvée Lucile-Maud, Moulin A Vent, 2013
Region: Moulin A Vent, Beaujolais
A wine named after the daughters of Franck Bessone, a practice normally associated with Austrian winemakers. Much more structure, lots of fruit but layers of fruit, savoury and minerality. Enjoy with pigeon or truffle risotto. This wine is loved by Matt!
5. Dom. Du Granit, Fleurie, 2015
Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais
The Fleurie part of Les Garants used to be part of the Moulin a Vent AOC area. Lots of red and black cherry aromas, with a hint of violet flower. A delicious hint of spice on the palate. Enjoy with meaty stews and pasta sauces.
6. Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie, 2017
Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais
This wine is named after a racehorse ‘La Roilette’ owned by a previous owner of the area, hence the silhouette of a horse head on the label. Lots of floral notes, blue and black fruit on the nose. With baking spices and savoury herbs on the palate. Enjoy with wild duck, pheasant or game dishes.
7. Domanique Piron, Brouilly, 2016
Region: Brouilly, Beaujolais
Brouilly is the most extensive and the most southern vintage of the Beaujolais Crus. It enjoys a good exposure facing South-East. Darker fruit, more ripe blueberry fruit. Nice stony mineral palate. Long finish. Enjoy with sausage casserole.
8. Du Grappin, Cote du Brouilly, 2016
Region: Cote du Brouilly, Beaujolais
Andrew was a graphic designer before a complete career change to wine maker. Hints of raspberry and redcurrant on the nose. Much more savoury palate but darker ripe fruit also. Enjoy with pigeon or truffle risotto.
Why not come pay us a visit and we’ll be able to find your perfect tipple! Want to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you! Message us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.