I’ve got to say this has been one of the more redefining weeks of the year so far. What do I mean by that? Well put it this way, I thought I knew what I was going to expect from Beaujolais, but the variety of styles across the 4 I drank last week really got me rethinking.
I spoke to Ant about it during the week, and we agreed that the old idea of light, fruity, refreshing wines were maybe a thing of memory rather than reality. Don’t get me wrong, they were all refreshing, and they were all packed full of fruit. But I have to say only one of the 4 actually fit that stereotype I’d come to believe.
The first one we had, on Friday night with the Red Thai Curry (made from scratch, I thank you!), was the Juliénas from Majestic. The smell was not what I expected. The ripe red fruit of raspberries and cherries were much more burnt crumble than fresh fruit salad. There was a definite smokiness there, and a hint of that bubblegum smell from carbonic maceration. It was a nice sniff though. The down side for me came with the lack of acidity. I was expecting it to be a lot more refreshing, but it just wasn’t. Tannin, alcohol, body, finish, the lot, all bob on medium in level. A good wine, that could have been so much better with a tad more acidity.
Second one we had was the Morrison’s Signature Fleurie. Again, we had it with the Red Thai Curry. Much better with the food this one, mostly because it was the one that fit the stereotype. The smells and tastes were basic. Fresh raspberry and strawberry, with good acidity, and balanced everywhere else. It’s not the most complex wine in the world, but for the £7.49 price tag, it’s got to be worth a look!
Wines 3 and 4 were Sunday’s job. The roast ham went out the window (figuratively, not literally!) as I was having so much fun with my new kitchen gizmo that I made some beef satay. Again though I thought a hint of spice but still very meaty. Should be ok.
We started the evening with the Brouilly from Sainsbury’s. This was very similar to the Juliénas from the other night. The slight peppery finish to it was pretty good with the food, and to be fair it had just a touch more acidity. The producer, Georges DuBoeuf, is fairly well known around those parts, and the wines are usually a very solid standard. You can do a lot worse than to start with this one.
The climax (as it were) of the week was the Chiroubles from Spirited Wines. I loved this one. It had all the fun bits from carbonic maceration, and all the fun bits from oak ageing. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, bubblegum, smokiness, cedar, tobacco, and gameyness, were all mixed in with a real lightness to the taste and body. I thought it was really great. By the time I opened it dinner was done, but I didn’t mind. Having had my preconceived ideas of Beaujolais changed by the previous three, I was ready for this one. And it delivered!
I’ve noticed on twitter and elsewhere that loads more of you are getting involved with New Wine This Week. On behalf of Ant and myself, I’d love to say thanks and keep it coming!
Other posts in NWTW Week 11:
#NWTW Week 11: Beaujolais from, well…Beaujolais! (includes voting poll)
#NWTW Week 11: Gamay, the grape that goes into Beaujolais
#NWTW Week 11: Where Is Beaujolais?
#NWTW Week 11: What’s Your Beaujolais Going To Taste Like?