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Beaujolais Making A Deserved Comeback

on 28/03/11 at 9:35 pm


Remember those 1970s Beaujolais Nouveau parties held in November at the release of the wine’s harvest?

Fortunately, that fad quickly faded and really died in the following decades.

Ever since, Beaujolais’s reputation has been so damaged by those unfinished, unaged wines, that even wine lovers give relatively little thought to well-made, well-aged non-Nouveau Beaujolais.

Because of poor sales, after the 2001 vintage, more than 1.1 million cases of Beaujolais (mostly Nouveau) were destroyed or distilled into alcohol. Since then, there have been almost yearly scandals about Beaujolais being adulterated with other wines or sugar.

All of which is really too bad, because in a good year, a carefully aged Beaujolais can be sheer delight. Made from the deep purple gamay noir grape, Beaujolais is produced on hundreds of small-to-medium-sized properties over 50,000 acres in southern Burgundy.

Most of it is sold through distributors called negociants. The best Beaujolais come from 10 village crus, whose wines are a couple of degrees higher in alcohol (13 percent and a little higher) than basic Beaujolais or Beaujolais Superieur.

These are Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Moulin-a-Vent, Morgon, Saint-Amour, and Regnie — none of which is made as Nouveau Beaujolais. All represent very good value, usually costing between $10 and $15 a bottle.

{Full story via Bloomberg}

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