Bring on the Beaujolais

By Ray Isle Posted July 10, 2007

I have to  say (really, I have to, it's like a compulsion) that George Duboeuf gets whupped on a lot by high-minded sommeliers and the more recondite members of the wine press, but on this past Friday evening—which involved a lot of simple grilled chicken breasts and other low-effort fare—the 2005 Duboeuf Domaine de la Seigneurie Julienas (one of the several wines from individual properties that Dubouef does not actually own, and about $13) was tasting mighty darn good—full of intense raspberry and cherry fruit, light but sound tannic structure, with a hint of flowers in the aroma. We chilled it down slightly and then killed the bottle in no time flat, a testimony to its just-try-and-resist drinkability. 

This all brought to mind a few other good Beaujolais I tasted not too long ago—when the stuff is at its best, it really is one of the most appealing summer reds around. Stick a bottle in the fridge for half an hour or forty-five minutes—just enough to make it cool, not cold—then sit on your porch, roof deck, or simply stand in the road with a glass in hand, and you can ponder how much your life is now improved (unless you choose the last option, and get mowed down by some ape driving a Hummer).

2005 Jean-Marc Burgaud Régnié Vallières (about $13) Bright raspberry aromas are followed by black raspberry fruit underpinned by earthy notes and soft tannins. Made from the fruit from 40-year-old vines, for what that's worth. Not wildly complex, but awfully darn charming.

2005 Potel-Aviron Fleurie Vielles Vignes (about $20) I recommended the Potel-Aviron Côte de Brouilly Vielles Vignes back in the June issue, but debated at the time about recommending this wine instead. Both are delicious; this one is a bit lighter, full of very Fleurie-appropriate blueberry notes and a touch of black pepper. 

2005 Christophe Pacalet Moulin-à-Vent (about $20) Pacalet, the nephew of the wizard of Morgon, Marcel Lapierre, farms organically and makes lovely, idiosyncratic Beaujolais. This translucent ruby Moulin-à-Vent doesn't lack for band-aid-box brett notes, but somehow the sweet dark berry fruit, light smokiness and invigoratingly prickly tannins work together with the funk to make a seamless, appealing red.


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