in France when it seems like all French people and millions throughout the world eagerly await the release of this year's BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU. It only takes 5-6 weeks from the picking date to shipment all over the world of this light, fruity red wine best drunk chilled as an aperitif! To sell any of the year's bottling before the the designated day in November is a high crime in France!!
Beaujolais is produced in southern Burgundy from the Gamay grape, akin to Pinot Noir! There are over 9,000 growers of Beaujolais who produce over 150 million bottles each year of Nouveau, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Village and Beaujolais Cru or the "1st growths!"
This year, I bought 4 different 2009 Crus from one of my favorite wine stores, GARY'S in Wayne, NJ who offers a good selection of fine wine at good prices and great service. The 2009 Beaujolais vintage is supposed to rival the great Bordeaux 2009 vintage although not as glamorous but of greater value for every day drinking!! There are 9 "Growths" that must meet strict standards such as minimum alcohol levels of 10% which helps assure a measure of durability and longevity over the simpler bottlings!
These 9 Crus come from the villages of Saint- Amour, Julienas, Chenas, Moulin-A-Vent, (the supposedly "King" of Beaujolais for its richness and fullness over other Crus), Fleurie, Chiroubles,(the "Cinderella" of the Crus), Morgon, (longer lasting than most Crus), Brouilly and Cotes de Brouilly. I am following the great book by Alexis Lichine "Guide to the Wines and Vineyards of France."
I sort of followed the ratings and advice of David Schildknecht of the WINE ADVOCATE magazine when buying 2 of each of the above Crus in the photo.
The Fleurie was rated a 93 while the others came in at a 91 rating each. Each can be drunk now but should even get better in 4-5 years. I intend to have 1 of each this next year and lay down the others as advised by David. Aging can definitely improve most reds over time!
Last night, we had a bottle of the Cote de Brouilly. David described this wine as "blueberry and juniper berry combine for intense aromatics and bright palate persistence with black pepper, juniper, salt and tart berry skin combining for an invigorating pungency that along with crushed stone and pencil lead mineral undertones serves as a superb foil for the sheer intensity of this wine's blue fruits. The finishing interaction of fruit and mineral here is worthy of a Reisling, and this will prove deliciously versatile for at least the 3-4 years."
I can't be this poetic but Schnitzel and I really enjoyed this bottling as very bright, juicy, and great berry fruit flavors that went very well alone and with our Mushroom Burger! Way to go our French Beaujolais vintner friends!!!