Earlier this week I participated in a tasting of five 2010 Beaujolais Crus received as samples from Gwendolyn Osborn of wine.com. Yann Bourigault, Export Director for Georges Duboeuf, was on video stream to walk us through the tastings and answer questions.
Beaujolais Cru, coming from 10 specific villages, are food friendly wines that provide an excellent value for the price. Often described as white wine masquerading as red, these wines can provide a good transition for those white wine lovers looking to expand.
Yann and Gwendolyn recommended trying the wines with black wine tasting glasses (which obscure the color of the wine) to see whether folks can tell if these wines are red or white. Sounds fun to me!
The number one thing Jann has learned working with Duboeuf ? “It’s all about the wine.” Mr Duboeuf still tastes 300-400 wines a day – this at almost 80 years old! I guess that’s how you hang onto your title as the king of Beaujolais.
One of the questions I had for Yann was regarding the ageability of these wines. Beaujolais Nouveau and Beaujolais Villages are meant to be consumed pretty much right away, but how do the Cru hold up?
According to Yann, a lot depends on which Cru it is and also how you like your Beaujolais. The Brouilly will hold for 4 or 5 years while a Moulin-A-Vent from a good vintage can age for 20 years.
Jann noted that if you prefer your Beaujolais fruity, then aging is probably not the best option. Over time, Beaujolais will lose the fruit and develop more complex aromatic profiles such as cinnamon, cigar box, and black truffles. I have personally never tried an aged Beaujolais but would love to hear from others who have what they think.
Here are the wines tasted and my thoughts
2010 Brouilly ($14.99): My least favorite of the night, fruity but not overwhelmingly so. A little flat in comparison to the others. Wouldn’t seek out.
2010 Fleurie Domaine des Quatre Vents ($18.99): Most taking part in the tasting liked this one the best. Well balanced, almost pinot noir like with a nice spiciness on the finish. Would buy.
2010 Morgon Jean Descombes ($15.99): The deepest in color of all the wines tried. At first I found this one too fruity and almost effervescent. Over time, it calmed down but I wouldn’t rush out to buy.
2010 Moulin-a-Vent ($15.99): My favorite of the night. Full bodied, nice balance of spice and fruit. Would buy.
2010 Julienas Chateau des Capitans ($18.99): Always enjoyable. Read more about it here.
Jann’s recommended food pairings included dishes such as Beef bourguignon and sausages cooked in wine. For vegetarians, he recommended mushroom based dishes such as risotto. I paired these wines with a panzanella salad and pasta with red sauce and mussels. Both worked well!
Thanks to Gwen, Yann, and all those who participated in the tasting – very informative!