Browse Tag


Gaules bladder

Lapierre 2008 Vin de Pays des Gaules (Beaujolais) – “What’s this wine all about,” I asked my most reliable retailer. “Green and acidic,” he responded, or something along those lines…and this is a guy with a store full of bottles that fans of pointy fermented goop would call exactly that. Well, he was right: it’s green, it’s overly sharp, it’s thin and edgy, and it’s not for everyone, or even for most. Is for anyone? Well, I suppose; it’s not far in structure from the “Cuvée Granit” bottling that some like to call “red Muscadet,” but it doesn’t have the nervy balance of that wine. It’s the worst Lapierre I’ve ever tasted, and while I’d be happy with it served from carafe in some country bistro, I’m not eager to pay a U.S. retail price for it again. (9/09)

One hundred bubbles

JP Brun “FRV 100” (Beaujolais) – I didn’t check the lot code on this bottle, but based on its performance I think it may be part of the previous year’s stock, rather than a new release. (I’m not sure, however.) This suspicion comes from a slightly stumbling stick and chew to the fruit, which carries a little more residue than the fun freshness it usually has. A minor nitpick, perhaps, but then again this was never advertised as an ager. (8/09)

Fields of gold

JP Brun “Terres Dorées” 2007 Beaujolais Blanc (Beaujolais) – Continuing to stand above the Beaujolais Blanc pack (admittedly, I don’t even think I’ve reached a half-dozen examples, although I have no idea how many wines labeled Mâcon that I’ve tasted have been secret brethren), due less to its rich, earthy aromatics than its more vibrant palate presence and firmer structure. Still one of my favorite French chardonnays, given a certain and deliberate personal poverty within that category. (9/09)


Granger “La Jacarde” 2008 Beaujolais Villages Blanc (Beaujolais) – Pure chardonnay seen through the lens of Beaujolais: a simple, sweet melody rather than a concerto or symphony of flavor. Light and pretty. (9/09)

Lone Granger

Granger 2002 Juliénas “Cuvée Speciale” (Beaujolais) – Earthen more than brightly-fruited, which would seem to be the usual destiny of aging Juliénas, and in a reasonably pleasant way. Early maturity? Yes, probably, though the resistant tannin might be an issue going forward. There’s a light within that gives hope, but this is a fairly muscular wine. (9/09)

In a cup

Foillard 2001 Morgon Côte du Py (Beaujolais) – A little delicate and even quiet at first, showing a lot of dust and a fading black raspberry palate. A day of minor exposure to air, at room temp, clarifies and amplifies the wine. The dust is still there, but now it’s texture, and the fruit – nicely expanded, though this is still medium-bodied at best – fills the mouth like a thick haze of mature fruit and foggy, sodden earth. There’s a heart of mystery within, as well, that doesn’t want to be quantified. Lovely. (7/09)

Voûte early, Voûte often

Chanrion “Domaine de la Voûte des Crozes” 2002 Côte-de-Brouilly (Beaujolais) – Not an appellation I usually think to age, but a bottle showed up in a local closeout bin, and so why not? Sharp cherry, with a zip almost akin to that of soda…but there’s nothing artificial here, just pure fruit. A bit of graphite sheeting hangs around to see what’s happening, but this has largely been stripped down to its core identity. (7/09)

How green is my Vallières?

[label]JM Burgaud 2007 Régnié Vallières (Beaujolais) – Tart strawberry, vivid and crisp. There’s some salty ferric stuff, as well, but mostly this is about incisive – or perhaps incising – fruit. (7/09)

Curses, Foillard again!

Foillard 2006 Morgon Côte du Py (Beaujolais) – Vastly lighter than some vintages, and almost breathtakingly beautiful as a result. Literally so: I’m completely enraptured by the ethereal blend of spice, soil, berry, and soul in this wine. Texturally sensuous but far from slutty. I don’t just want to drink this, I want to bathe in it. (7/09)