23 November 2018 I have just had the pleasure of adding a note on Le Grappin's St-Amour 2017.
22 November 2018 Happy Thanksgiving! We're republishing this short tasting article free because we think serious beaujolais is a great choice for large gatherings and the sort of food typically served to celebrate Thanksgiving. These are versatile red wines with the refreshment value of whites. For more current choices, see also Richard's Beaujolais 2017 – believe the hype?
16 November 2018 A very small collection of beaujolais tasted recently, published to complement Around the world in 47 Pinots.
Those looking for better-value alternatives to red burgundy might well look south to Beaujolais. The grape may be different – Gamay rather than Pinot Noir – but the build is the same especially since more and more beaujolais is being made using traditional Burgundian techniques rather than the high-speed version of carbonic maceration that was so popular when Beaujolais Nouveau was at its peak in the 1980s. (Our picture shows traditional foudres at Ch Thivin in the Côte de Brouilly, an admirably reliable producer of fine wine for drinking over a period of many years.)
Of the nine wines described below, the Ch de Pizay, Ch Thivin and Thibault Liger-Belair examples are all extremely Burgundian, have a great future ahead of them (particularly the last two), and are thoroughly recommended to those who appreciate the taste of red burgundy but not its current price level.
To those looking for a top-quality wine in a lighter, fresher, more classically Beaujolais style, I strongly recommend the Ch de la Pierre.
It was significant how many beaujolais were shown by The Wine Society and The Bunch group of independent UK wine merchants in their recent tastings. I will publish my notes on the latter later this month.
I was also recently introduced to the Juliénas 2017 of Domaine David Chapel, the exciting new enterprise run by David son of chef Alain Chapel and his wife Michele, once a top New York sommelier. See my note below.
We have long been championing good-quality beaujolais on JancisRobinson.com; click on the beaujolais tag above to see much more coverage. It has clearly been underpriced for many years but many growers, long under-rewarded, suffered terrible losses to hail in both 2016 and 2017, in some cases bringing them close to having to abandon viticulture altogether. The good news, however, is that 2018 was an excellent, healthy, generous crop.
The 10 wines are listed in ascending price order below but you could change this.