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Beaujolais - The World-Class Wine Trapped Between Burgundy and The Rhone Valley


DonRocks
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I've found a wonderful article about Beaujolais, courtesy of the great expert, Josh Raynolds @JBRwine.

I've often found that, like with Champagne, there are distinct levels of knowledge about Beaujolais. In increasing order of knowledge, people:

1) know it's a French wine.

2) know Beaujolais-Nouveau is "the first wine of the year," released to great fanfare.

--- Dividing line between beginner and intermediate knowledge

3) know it's made from the Gamay grape.

4) know Beaujolais-Villages is another Beaujolais that's more serious and age-worthy.

--- Dividing line between intermediate and superior knowledge

5) know Cru Beaujolais is from a specific village (town) in the Beaujolais region.

6) know Cru Beaujolais is often (usually) labeled with the name of the village itself (e.g., Morgon, Moulin-í -Vent, Fleurie)

7) know Beaujolais has an identity crisis because it's sandwiched between Bourgogne (Burgundy) and the Vallée-du-Rhone (Rhone Valley) - it's administered by Burgundy, but geographically part of the Rhone Valley, making it even more torn in half.

This trivial little list is all just a lead-in to this wonderful article - I wrote the prelude under the assumption that the entire gamut of wine lovers will be reading this, from absolute beginners, to expert oenophiles. This article is worthy of being read by everyone, at every level.

Why not make *this* the day that you learn something about Beaujolais?

"Who Will Decide The Future of Beaujolais?" by Jon Bonné on punchdrunk.com

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Having not yet read the article -- I bookmarked it, and I will read it -- this post brings back waves of memories for me.

Growing up as I did in Lancaster, PA, wine was mostly an afterthought, and mass market swill was about as good as it got on the family table, by which to accompany mom's Syrian-Amish fusion dishes.

By 1980, I was out of Lancaster, and the Air Force plopped me in Washington DC, where I have been ever since. My job in those early career days took me overseas a few times a year, and I recall (maybe 1981) being in France in mid-November, with a few casual days of wandering between meetings in Belgium. I noticed that people were actually *celebrating* wine, dancing and singing and eating with abandon....all about wine! It grabbed me, and I started learning and tasting and expanding my culinary and oenological adventures, to the point where my hamburger-and-fries friends all looked at me like I was nuts. I even bought a wine locker and put down a case of 1978 Jordan cab, a case of Simi chard, and then I bought some '82 Bordeaux futures.

Since then, I've eaten and drank some of the best food and drink the world has to offer, anywhere from Washington DC to New York to San Francisco to London to Paris to Rome, and even Damascus, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Tunis. I've been to the festivals and and the German oom-pah fests and the Don Rockwell picnics....

I owe it all to those early days of enjoying the celebrations of Beaujolais Nouveau in '81....and I would probably put myself at #7 on your list of knowledge. The gamay grape got me started on this journey....thanks, Don.

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Having not yet read the article -- I bookmarked it, and I will read it -- this post brings back waves of memories for me.

...

and then I bought some '82 Bordeaux futures.

...

The gamay grape got me started on this journey....thanks, Don.

Well, hopefully you kept your 1982 Bordeaux! :) Selling one bottle of that can easily buy you a case of the best Beaujolais the world has to offer.

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I think Beaujolais does itself a HUGE disservice with the whole nouveau campaign. Most of the time it's sweet swill. Fortunately, my father is a Beaujolais lover and made sure I tried the various village wines. 

Well, that all depends on how much money they make - they could be making 50% of their annual revenues in one week!

Plus, it taints their reputation, and leaves the good stuff for people like us! :)

I have a bottle of 1997 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Nouveau (Matt's birth year). Boy, what a flashy label; I can't imagine how *bad* that wine is right now, but it was the first wine of Matt's birth year and it set me back not much more than a postcard.

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Was a bit hesitant to post about Nouveau in this thread since Moulin-a-Vent produces some of my favorite wines, but hey its the third Thursday of November, so may as well be the one day a year I pop open a bottle from the southern reaches of this under-valued region.  

Tried two today, the first being Domaine Manoir Du Carra.  Very typical - light, fruity, straightforward BN.  The second is Domaine Foretal, which has a little more complexity and takes a slightly more serious approach.  Both are chilling and half a glass of each will be had later before tabling this and popping the Rottiers, but it will be a festive happy hour.

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On 11/18/2021 at 3:10 PM, genericeric said:

Was a bit hesitant to post about Nouveau in this thread since Moulin-a-Vent produces some of my favorite wines, but hey its the third Thursday of November, so may as well be the one day a year I pop open a bottle from the southern reaches of this under-valued region.  

Tried two today, the first being Domaine Manoir Du Carra.  Very typical - light, fruity, straightforward BN.  The second is Domaine Foretal, which has a little more complexity and takes a slightly more serious approach.  Both are chilling and half a glass of each will be had later before tabling this and popping the Rottiers, but it will be a festive happy hour.

Where did you find the Foretal? 

I can't STAND the Nouveau but the boy loves it. And so at Rodman's the other day, I got him 2 - the Domaine Manoir Du Carra and Henri Fesse. He hasn't cracked them yet. He also has some Georges DeBouf, but I don't just dislike that, I find it revolting. Anyhow, he would enjoy another one to try.

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15 hours ago, saf said:

Where did you find the Foretal? 

I can't STAND the Nouveau but the boy loves it. And so at Rodman's the other day, I got him 2 - the Domaine Manoir Du Carra and Henri Fesse. He hasn't cracked them yet. He also has some Georges DeBouf, but I don't just dislike that, I find it revolting. Anyhow, he would enjoy another one to try.

I got it at Barrel Thief in Richmond, however I've been able to find the Foretal Moulin-a-Vent before at Arrowine in Arlington, so may be worth a call over there assuming its closer.  Upon drinking more of it on Thursday, the Foretal was MUCH preferred to the Manoir Du Carra.  If Arrow doesn't have it, BT may ship, but their site looks out of date so suggest calling.

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