First, a primer on Beaujolais--
Beaujolais is a region in France where the soil is granitic and the wine is made from the Gamay grape. Gamay is a grape that yields basically, straight forward, uncomplicated wines which are meant to be drunk early (meaning age of the wine not the time of
(Beaujolais Nouveau is a class all by itself and for more information on this annual celebration, see the post on this site about Nouveau wine.)
Beaujolais wines have various designations on their label which, correlates fairly well to their level of quality and price as a rule of thumb.
The first level, and generally least costly and least complex, have wines labeled simply “Beaujolais.” These are wines made from grapes (Gamay) gathered from all over the region. These tend to run about $6 a bottle.
The second level would say “Beaujolais Villages” on the label and would cost a little more. ($8 a bottle) These wines are made from Gamay grapes gathered within the selected regions of the “Villages” hence tend toward a more uniform and higher quality.
The best Beaujolais are the “Cru” which means “growth” of which there are ten “Cru.” They are: Brouilly, Côte-de-Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint Amour, and Régnié.
These are wines which have a decent tannic foundation, tend to be quite fruity and acidic and can even show some complexity and can hold their age, depending on the vintage, as long as 5 years, sometimes even longer. They usually run around $12-$18 a bottle.
It is has been many years since I had a Beaujolais Cru wine.
This one is fairly dark in the glass with a bouquet of cherries and strawberries and reminds me of the Grenache grape as well. In the mouth it is light bodied, and first impression is of candy which quickly leaves showing its tannic base which is considerable. It is also fairly acidic but well balanced with gentle hints of fruit more complex than say, Beaujolais Nouveau.
The bottle went quickly and paired well with my homemade seafood ravioli which I made for my best babe’s birthday. Now I wonder why I have stayed away from these wines so long. Put a slight chill on these wines and be prepared to drink more than what you normally might due to the fresh and light and easy quaffability of these wines. I paid $13 for this wine which was a fine value.
So raise a glass and enjoy!