I was in Beaujolais in the Autumn of 2004, tasting 2003's out of barrel. It was fun. It's a pretty, pastoral neck of the wine world. I've been enjoying the renaissance of small growers doing fantastic things in the region. Shrugging off the mass-produced, high-yielding, bubble-gum and candy-floss reputation much of the region has been mired with (much like the consumers were mired in their rubbish wines), these growers are making some cracking wines that sit just a bit out of the norm.
Domaine Alain Chatoux Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes 2009
Remarkable light in colour; shades of ruby and violet with a nice brilliance as well.
Floral strawberries and cranberries with a good meaty, savoury note as well. Kind of like beef fat. It's kind of like a red fruit and beef stew, but in no way 'stewed', if you get my meaning. Neither do I. There's also a wee touch of black pepper.
This is kind of cool. All those crazy red fruit beef stew notes are there - big flavours with an almost greasy or oily texture. Strawberries and Cranberries cooked in bacon fat? It's very country-ish - the texture past that is soft and light. Quite a surprising depth of flavour considering its lightness. I like it for what it is, and imagine that, for a big meal - such as Thanksgiving - it would go with pretty much everything on the table. At £10.49, it's pretty good value.
Domaine de la Chaponne 'La Forge' Chiroubles 2009
Right off the bat, I must confess that of all the Beaujolais Cru, this is the one with which I am the least familiar. It's also the one I tend to forget when occasionally asked to recite all the Cru. Long story.
Intense purple and violet - dark, but still translucent.
The nose is floral and mineral all at once - violets crushed with rocks or some such. There's also a touch of hedgerow. Very Zeppelin. The fruit is cranberry.
Very crunchy, bright cranberry palate. Quite a bit more weight than the Chatoux, with darker fruit notes and far deeper tannins. The acidity is forthright - not bracing, but bringing a good juiciness to it. That hedgerow on the nose comes across more as a wicker basket and sea salt on the palate. This is even better value than its predecessor - it's got complexity, good mouthfeel and an impressive length. Great for the money and the sort of thing people should be drinking more of. Yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition; I feel no guilt.
Both tasted 21/10/2010 at Luvians Bottleshop