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French puns

JP Brun “Terres Dorées” Mousseux “FRV100” (Beaujolais) – In the cause of experimentation, this is served at room temperature rather than slightly chilled to pair better with a blackberry pie. It’s a successful experiment; the sweeter and bigger (that is to say, body-forming alcoholic) aspects of the wine are slightly emphasized, slightly damaging its on-its-own balance but enhancing its ability to go with this not particularly sweet dessert. Chilled, it achieves more of the fluffy puppy equilibrium that I’m used to, and it’s a “better” wine with the proper bit of shiver, but it tastes slightly tannic with the pie. (5/08)

Thulon to wait

[chateau]JM Burgaud “Château de Thulon” 2006 Beaujolais-Villages (Beaujolais) – More biting than previous vintages, with a sharp zing to the zippy, underripe cherry, raspberry, and cranberry fruit that carries just a hint of floral complexity. It’s unmistakably Beaujolais, but it needs food to tame it; no cocktail wine, this. (5/08)

Rosier-colored glasses

Rosier “Château du Chatelard” 2006 Beaujolais Blanc (Beaujolais) – More melon than citrus, though both are present (and stone fruit sticks its weightier head in there for a moment). The primary characteristic of this wine, however, is juiciness…a clean, refreshing, almost thirst-quenching appeal, especially at cooler temperatures. Simplistic at first and last glance, but enjoyable nonetheless. (4/08)


Brun 2001 Beaujolais Blanc (Beaujolais) – Pretty. Moves from peach, to apricot, to tangelo, to grapefruit; as the initially creamy sweetness brings forth its supporting chorus of structure, the wine rounds into fine form. This is drinking nicely now, but perhaps not at peak. 24 hours later, more minerality is on show, with a more restrained overall character. (4/08)


anonymous Brouilly (Beaujolais) – Not the sort of Brouilly that geeks get excited about, but rather the simple kind poured by the pichet in restaurants all over France. It’s lurid violet and grapey, with fresh berries and more of those violets on the finish. And it most certainly has its place. (4/06)


Michel Tête “Domaine du Clos du Fief” 2006 Juliénas (Beaujolais) – Gently-spiced meat, orange rind, and beet. Fruity, then strong; this is pure fun with a serious side for the curious to discover. (1/08)


JP Brun “Terres Dorées” 2006 Beaujolais Blanc Chardonnay (Beaujolais) – Salted gravel, lemon leaves, and orange blossom. Aromatically, this is approaching viognier territory at the moment, though it’s too light and lively to actually be viognier. (1/08)

Morgon Fairchild

JM Burgaud 2006 Morgon Les Charmes (Beaujolais) – While it would be hard to mistake this for “serious” gamay, this isn’t the first Morgon that’s put me in mind of syrah; there’s a structured smokiness to it, perhaps a little strappy leather to the aroma, that makes me think of syrah with the volume turned way down. It’s very nicely balanced, though lacking the fierce intensity of the 2005…which, depending on one’s point of view, may be a blessing. That is to say, it’s a “lesser” wine than the previous vintage, and that lessening has both good and less good facets. Certainly, it remains ageable, but appealing (with full-flavored food) right now. (12/07)

Crazy in pink

JP Brun 2006 Beaujolais “Rosé d’Folie” (Beaujolais) – For a good hour or so, this is cranky and difficult; there’s nothing specific that’s wrong with it, exactly, it just doesn’t want to play…nicely or otherwise. Afterwards, however, matters change. Striking, almost masculine floral aromas over red fruit and juicy, fresh-plucked-berry acidity form the core of this wine, but there’s a brownish-grey tint to it as well (not visually, organoleptically), one that adds a certain discord of solemnity. A wine worthy of more examination than most will give a rosé, certainly, but it does need air. (12/07)

Burgaud time

[label]JM Burgaud “Château de Thulon” 2006 Beaujolais-Villages (Beaujolais) – Basically a bottled version of why one drinks Beaujolais, with the pretty, friendly, fresh fruit upfront and a timeworn gravel foundation underneath. Nothing too structured or firm, just pure essence of…well, Beaujolais. Sometimes, notes need to be recursive to make any sense. (12/07)