I can't tell you how enthusiastic I am about these wines – the perfect antidote to Bordeaux 2009 madness. See some background here and do think seriously about getting in the lighter of these wines for immediate enjoyment.
The picture gives some idea of the gentle hills of the best Beaujolais villages, the crus. It's of some of the vineyards around the village of Fleurie that the Henriot family (owners of Bouchard Père et Fils) have been working on in their conversion of the Ch Poncié into Villa Ponciago, a slightly unfortunate name for English-speakers perhaps.
Dark purplish crimson. Very meaty nose with lovely lift. Extremely substantial wine with really quite round tannins, almost burgundian. Perfumed and round with just a skein of minerality on the finish. Vineyard soil is some manganese in pink granite apparently.13%
Very herbal – oreganum and thyme. Tight-weave tannin and delicious cherry and strawberry fruit. Fleshy and lovely and lightly laced with spice. Roses and chrysanthemums on a finish as meandering and floral as a path in a cottage garden. (TC)13%
Bright crimson. Fresh, full of fruit. Lots of acidity. Smooth and sleek and very versatile. Not very long but super easy. Could (should?) be drunk without food. 12.5%
Cédric Chignard continues his father’s good work with their 8.5 ha of Fleurie in and around Les Moriers on the Moulin à Vent side of the appellation. The wine is made in large wooden foudres, but no barrels for the regular cuvée.
Mineral nose. Quite soft and scented. Very flattering. Complete and quite forward even if there is a little tannin there.
Substantial meaty nose with quite marked tannins on the palate. Very firm. Wait quite a while for this to soften! 13%
Bottled by Georges Duboeuf. Confession: I have a sentimental attachment to this label which has not changed since I served it at my 30th birthday party 30 years ago. More acidity on the nose than on the regular Morgon. Perhaps more typical but less marked by the vintage? Still a little fizzy on the palate – tastes like work in progress... with some rather sour tannins on the finish.13%
Darker than the Chatoux wine at the same price served alongside. Real bite and savour. Quite dense for a Beaujolais. Real grip here. Not quite ready yet though it would probably be fine with food. I’d start this at the end of northern hemisphere summer. GV 12.5%
Really good, mouthfilling concentration. Lots of expression, bitter cherry and herbs. A good dense matting of tannins. Depth and colour and dimension. (TC)13%
Second bottle: A bit fresher on the nose, though this seems as though it has taken ripeness to the limit. Lots of rather severe tannins too.
Cask sample. Dark crimson. Rich and rather opulent and Côte d’Or-like even though there is quite a bit tannin here. Easy to see how this would become more like Pinot...
Very dark crimson indeed. Very mineral and sweet (an unusual combination) and unusual. Big and bold and very concentrated. Intense black berries – not very obviously Gamay. Very vibrant. Tingle-issimo.13%
Cask sample. Lovely suppleness. So glorious!
Mid crimson. From vines belonging to the owners of Loron. Traditional techniques, macerations of over 20 days – all the stuff coming back in to the region – so much the better. Scented and full of life. Very polished tannins. Quite different in character to the other wines in the Loron range. Lots of wild life here! In a good way. No biodynamic claims are made on the back label but it certainly tastes pretty lunar. Exciting stuff. Smoother and less tough and sturdy than many wines from this appellation.13%
Liqueur and then the aroma of damp clay, dill and blackberries. Very herbal on the palate. Green – parsley and dill – and sharply lined. Dusty, ashy tannin. OK, but I'd love to find more juicy fruit in here. (TC)13%
Light crimson. Light minerally nose. Firm and sinewy. Really quite serious for a basic bottling. Bone dry on the finish. Wait a little while.12%
Mid crimson. Meaty, alluring nose with lots of chew. Crunchy, very pure fruit. Very linear style. Needs to put a little flesh on but its impressively sincere.12%
Vibrant crimson. Succulent. Polished, very seductive. Lovely slightly inky fruit. Masses of energy and race. Very fine with a dry finish.12%
Mid crimson. Scented, succulent fruit. Lovely polished fruit on the front palate that opened out into a lush, flattering drink with such a lot of ripeness that the considerable tannins are almost completely disguised. Very impressive. The label says that decanting is recommended. I left the bottle open overnight to highly advantageous effect.12%
Mid crimson. Very fragrant. Then substantial. Much chewier than the Morgon. Tastes much stronger than 12%, and set for the very long term. Ambitious wine that is light years from conventional mass-market Beaujolais. NB suggested drink dates.12%
Lovely depth and savour and pull. Raspberry notes overlaid with coriander spice and turmeric. Very complete. (TC)12.7%
Nicole Chanrion. Dark crimson. Luscious ripe fruit with real pzazz and life. Lots of richness and intensity. Great value and persistence. So lively! Very fine tannins and real explosive fruit.12.5%
Full, succulent super-juicy nose with hints of overripe greengages. Lots of flavour here. Still a little chewy on the finish. Bumptious.12%