Beaujolais is a region I have discounted for many years, probably because I am partial to heavier wines but in the main because of the nonsense of Beaujolais Nouveau. A triumph of marketing over good sense.
When I lived in London in the late eighties I remember all the nice hotels seemed to have a Beaujolais Nouveau Day around the middle of November. The race was always on for who could first serve this immature brew. It always tended to be harsh and acidic so I have avoided ever since.
You may remember in a previous blog we visited L’vin et assiette in Besançon this summer, and it was here I had my epiphany.
We were given a wine when we arrived which was so fruity I struggled to believe it was old world. When Bernard, the owner asked me to guess what it was I really had no idea. It was a Morgon from Beaujolais. My interest immediately peaked!
The map above shows the geography of the area. There are 12 separate appellations and in my view the quality seems to get better the further north you go. The most famed wine is from Moulin-a-Vent which can age quite well. Otherwise Beaujolais should be drunk in the year or two after the vintage.
We have enjoyed half a dozen bottles over the summer at around the £8.00 mark and all have been good, but sadly nothing yet to equal our Besançon experience.
The other great thing about Beaujolais is that it should be served cool, not cold but about 15C. So an hour in the fridge before opening is ideal.
2012 was not a good vintage but there are plenty of 2010/2011’s out there. I think it is the perfect christmas dinner wine, fruity enough to cope with the assault on the palate of all the different flavours on your plate but low in tannin.