Explore the Range of Beaujolais with the #Winophiles

Yep, 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau is on its’ way

More Than Nouveau
Nouveau Beaujolais is a marketing triumph; of sorts.  A celebration of the new vintage, the wines are super fresh and what fun to celebrate with a party on the third Thursday of November. This might be the original #WineDay! Only one problem: people around the world mistakenly think that Nouveau Beaujolais is the only Beaujolais, what a pity.  This year, why not use the French #Winophiles as your guide to explore Beaujolais beyond Nouveau?

As many wine regions in France, there is a pyramid of quality in the Beaujolais region.  Consider Nouveau Beaujolais as the base. Then you ascend to (normal) Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, then on to the named Crus of Beaujolais. The Crus are 10 mini-regions named for a village within which produce Beaujolais wines worthy of a bit of aging and attention when you pour them in the glass.

A favorite basic Beaujolais

Beaujolais
Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages hail from the southerly end of the Beaujolais region, just 40 or so minutes drive from Lyon. The soil here is called Terres Dorees, a yellow stone which was used in constructing most of the buildings in Lyon, the third largest city in France. The wines power many of the bistro’s and bouchons in that bustling metropolis. Basic Beaujolais wines are inexpensive, entirely gluggable delicious wines to enjoy with almost any food at any time of day.

 

Beaujolais-Villages

Always reliable and affordable Beaujolais-Villages

Beaujolais-Villages
Beaujolais-Villages wines are a step up in quality from basic Beaujolais although they retain the friendly,highly drinkable nature of their brethren.  Both take a chill nicely and should be on your short list of easy to enjoy summertime red wines.

A broad range of Beaujolais wines from basic Beaujolais to Moulin-a-Vent

Within a lighter red wine category, Beaujolais wines still cover a wide range

Cru Beaujolais
The Cru Beaujolais wines are in the Northern half of the Beaujolais region. The soil has shifted away from the Terres Dorees into a granite based soil, producing wines capable of a bit more grace and ageability. When made with care, Cru Beaujolais wines rival their Burgundy neighbors to the North.

One puzzle is the naming of the Cru Beaujolais wines.  They lose the Beaujolais label, and are named by their village. There are ten named Cru Beaujolais villages: Chiroubles, Regnie, St. Amour, Fleurie, Chenas, Cote de Brouilly, Brouilly, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent.

Lighter bodied Cru Beaujolais wines

There are always exceptions, but some Cru Beaujolais villages are known for slightly lighter bodied wines.

The Lighter Bodied Cru’s
The lighter bodied Cru’s are generally considered to be Chiroubles, Regnie, St. Amour and Fleurie.  Remember there are lots of variables, but these wines will generally be a bit lighter in tone and body. Suitable for a bit of a chill in the summer, bigger fish dishes and certainly chicken and pork.

Medium Bodied Cru’s
The medium bodies Crus’ are Chenas, Brouilly, Cote-de-Brouilly and Julienas. Of course, different people have some different choices, however, these are a decent starting point. The medium bodied Cru’s are flexible and can work as well with grilled swordfish as they would a steak.

Fuller Bodied Cru’s
Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent are deeper in color, deeper in fruit and will happily sit beside your plate of grilled red meat, or something braised in the winter.

Before You Pick Up That Nouveau
We French Winophiles would never tell you to leave a bottle of French wine on the shelf!  You should pick up a bottle of Nouveau, but not two!  Instead, take a look at our posts and pick up something equally economical, equally perfect for the dinner table, but with more personality, more depth, or more OOMPH.

Here’s a compilation of posts which will go live over the next few days. Don’t forget to join our chat!

Join our chat on Saturday November 18 at 10-11am CST (11am EST, 8am PST, and 1700 hours in France)! See what we think of Beaujolais, and tell us about your experiences! Simply log into Twitter and search for the #winophiles tag, and you’re in!

Comments
10 Responses to “Explore the Range of Beaujolais with the #Winophiles”
  1. Here’s how I remember the Crus (inspired by Dr Mrs Vandertramp):
    Should Jacob Chose My Flowers? Chris Might Rage Bye Bye.

  2. Wendy Klik says:

    Thanks Jeff, I really enjoyed these wines.

  3. Jill Barth says:

    Jeff – have you tasted all ten cru in a lineup? I’m thinking it’s on my 2018 bucket list!

    I know a bit of your heart is in Beaujolais so getting your perspective has been a delight.

    Lovely post!

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  1. […] host Jeff from FoodWineClick writes, “We French Winophiles would never tell you to leave a bottle of French wine on the […]

  2. […] from Food Wine Click! shares “Tasting the Beaujolais Pyramid over […]

  3. […] from Food Wine Click! shares “Tasting the Beaujolais Pyramid over […]

  4. […] As many wine regions in France, there is a pyramid of quality in the Beaujolais region.  Consider Nouveau Beaujolais as the base. Then you ascend to (normal) Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, then on to the named Crus of Beaujolais. – Jeff Burrows, FoodWineClick […]



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