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Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé! 2016 Edition

November 18, 2016 10 comments

beaujolais nouveau 2016There is no shortage of the grape holidays nowadays – we celebrate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Chardonnay and many other grapes, sometimes even two per day. However, the oldest grape celebration in existence is Beaujolais Nouveau Day, celebrated on the third Thursday in November, which happened to be November 17th this year.

Of course, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is not so much of a grape celebration (which would be a Gamay day) but really the celebration of the new harvest, which was a very old tradition in the Beaujolais region, neighboring Burgundy, in France. Georges Duboeuf, a famous French wine merchant, is credited with making Beaujolais Nouveau Day an international event more than 30 years ago. What was just a local harvest festival became an international event, widely anticipated and celebrated around the world, from Tokyo to Moscow to New York.

While Beaujolais Nouveau Day is [still] often dismissed as a marketing gimmick, I’m always looking forward trying the new Beaujolais Nouveau wines, to be able to see their evolution. Ever since this blog started in 2010, Beaujolais Nouveau was always part of it – here you can find the old posts from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. In case you want to learn a bit more about the history of the celebration, please take a look at the post from 2012 – it contains more information than the other posts.

beaujolais nouveau

Here are the notes on the 2 wines I was able to taste this year:

2016 Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau (12% ABV, $9.99)
C: Dark ruby
N: fresh fruit, intense, ripe raspberries, herbal undertones, not over the top
P: elegant, fresh, red fruit notes, crunchy berries, excellent acidity
V: 8-, very enjoyable and elegant

2016 Paul Durdilly et Fils “Les Grandes Coasses” Beaujolais Nouveau (12.5% ABV, $9.99)
C: dark ruby
N: spicy cherries, mint, inviting
P: very limited amount of fruit, big contrast with the nose. For the Beaujolais Nouveau, might be even too restrained.
V: 7, leaving desiring more on the palate.

Talking about the two wines I tasted, I have to admit that I forgot to lightly chill them, which is recommended. This definitely had no effect on Georges Duboeuf wine, but it might be a culprit behind the limited expression of the second wine.

Before we part, I want to bring to your attention the label of the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Besides the fact that I personally like it, the important part if that for the first time ever, the label for this wine was chosen by the wine consumers voting for one of the 12 different designs submitted for the competition. I think the consumers chosen well, right?

For the past 3-4 years, I find Beaujolais Nouveau a very enjoyable wine, well worthy of oenophile’s attention. What do you think of Beaujolais Nouveau? Any favorites? Cheers!

Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé! 2015 Edition

November 19, 2015 10 comments

Geoarges Duboeuf Beaujolais NouveauHave you looked in the calendar today? Yes, it is the third Thursday of November, which means that … Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived! All the wine stores around you should carry bottles with the festive labels, and there are multiple events and parties to celebrate the arrival of the new wine, the wine of 2015.

I know that many hard core wine drinkers scoff at the Beaujolais Nouveau wine and the whole celebration, considering the wine to be a plonk and the celebration only a marketing gimmick. Speaking for myself, I love to partake in this celebration, as may be the first wine holiday ever created (now we have ever increasing number of “grape days” throughout the year, to make sure we have enough reasons to open a bottle of wine).

Besides just liking the idea of celebration of the first wine of the harvest, I find that quality of the Beaujolais Nouveau is consistently improving, year after year. Thus I happily ran to the store today at the first available opportunity to get some Beaujolais Nouveau. 5–6 years ago Georges Dubœeuf Beaujolais Nouveau was the only option. Few years back, Joseph Drouhin joined the company. This year, I had a choice of 4 wines to pick from, so I decided to limit my tasting to 3.

I don’t want to give you any overall impressions until you will skim through the tasting notes, so here we go:

2015 Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau (13% ABV, $10.99)
C: Dark Garnet, very unexpected
N: restrained, fresh berries with the touch of herbs. Very different from the previous years, a lot less fruity. More reminiscent of a traditional Beaujolais or a nice Chinon
P: outstanding. Fresh, open, perfectly balanced fruit, ripe cherries, medium body, medium-long finish.
V: 8-, very unexpected, would never guess in the blind tasting that this is a Nouveau wine. Not sure what kind of magic Dubœeuf used, but this is a pretty spectacular wine in its own.

2015 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau (13% ABV, $11.99)
C: dark garnet, another unexpected color
N: more traditional nose of freshly crushed berries, still not overboard, with underpinning of spices
P: delicious young wine, nice fresh fruit, finish mostly acidic
V: 7/7+, more in line with expectations of Beaujolais Nouveau – a very well made one, but still

2015 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau (13% ABV, $13.99)
C: dark garnet, one more wow
N: restrained, with acidity and minerality been in the lead, touch floral, may a bit of tart cherries
P: excellent, round, more of classic Burgundy in style, not a hint of “nouveau” on the palate, very fresh with a distant hint of smoke and tobacco on the palate.
V: 8-, outstanding. Again a complete surprise.

What can I tell you? Very impressive. Excellent wines, well made and tasty, and offering great QPR for what they are. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, this might be a great addition to your table. And if you don’t, Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 is well worth your attention. And if this Beaujolais Nouveau is any indication, the 2015 might be (yet again) the vintage of the century. Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé! À votre santé!

P.S. After this post was written, I tried two more Beaujolais Nouveau wines, so here are the additional notes just to make the 2015 experience more complete:

2015 Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau (11%–14% ABV, $10.99)
C: Bright Ruby
N: initially a typical Beaujolais Nouveau nose with fresh crushed berries, eventually becoming more restrained with additional herbal component
P: fresh tart cherries, crisp, fresh, with the vibrant acidity which makes the wine show quite complex
V: 7+, well made wine, simple and pleasant

2015 Bouchard Beaujolais Nouveau (11%–14% ABV, $9.99)
C: dark Ruby
N: fresh berries with a touch of green leaves
P: fresh crushed berries, crisp, vibrant, good acidity
V: 7+, traditional Beaujolais Nouveau, simple and tasty

Celebrating New Harvest – Beaujolais Nouveau 2014

November 23, 2014 6 comments

Beaujolais Nouveau winesOn Thursday, November 20th, all wine (and probably well beyond wine) social media outlets were filled with “Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé” messages, pictures and videos. For more than 30 years, what was at some point a simple local celebration of the new harvest, became a big international affair. Always happening on the third Thursday in November, the wine called Beaujolais Nouveau magically appears on the shelves of the wine stores and on the restaurant tables all over the world to ring in the harvest.

This international celebration is largely a result of the efforts of one man with the vision – Georges Duboeuf, the famous french wine négociant and producer. It was his vision and hard work which lead to the event celebrated from Paris to New York to Tokyo. At some point the Beaujolais Nouveau phenomenon became oversubscribed, leading to the glut of insipid wines saturating the market, creating a bad image associated with the whole Beaujolais Nouveau idea. But with the modern winemaking improvements, the quality of the Beaujolais Nouveau wines started to improve year after year, which brought the feeling of the celebration back over the last 5-6 years.

I had been closely following the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration ever since this blog started – here are the posts from 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. While working on this post, I checked my notes on the past releases of Beaujolais Nouveau, and it looks like with the exception of 2011, all the vintages were very consistent, offering good quality, very drinkable wine which gave a lot of pleasure. I know that some people dismiss Beaujolais Nouveau as a marketing gimmick and simply refuse to drink the wines – however, I wholeheartedly disagree and I believe this young celebratory wine well worth wine aficionados’ attention.

This year, I had an opportunity to try two different Beaujolais wines – 2014 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau (12% ABV, $9.99) and 2014 Domaine Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Nouveau (12.5% ABV, $10.99). Talking about interesting experiences, for the first time I remember drinking Beaujolais Nouveau, and definitely for the first time while writing this blog, I found two of the different bottles of wine which taste nearly identical. This was very puzzling experience, as I was looking for the different descriptors, and couldn’t find any. Okay, they were not 100% the same wines, of course – but differences were very subtle, may be in the particular fruit profile being more pronounced in one wine and not in the other, and majority of the description would stay the same. To acknowledge that, I will give you a description for both wines at the same time.

Color: Bright Garnet

Nose: Freshly crushed red fruit, lavender, unmistakable aroma of the young wine

Palate: Red fruit, cherries, tart blackberries, violet, lavender, medium body with some structure, vibrant acidity, good balance, medium finish.

Verdict: a good wine, easy to drink, fresh, should play well with the wide range of food due to the substantial acidity. Yes it will do just fine on your Thanksgiving table (will be definitely on mine). Drinkability: 7+/8- for both – really hard to decide.

Yet another Beaujolais Nouveau day becomes a history. Well, of course not so fast – the wines will be available for a while, and while they are not meant for aging, overall textural presence of the two wines I tasted suggests that these wines can last for the few years – but this is definitely not what you want to do. And than that mind boggling similarity between the two totally different wines – I don’t know what to think of it, except that may be the similar winemaking methods used, like carbonic maceration and such, lead to the similar results for the two totally unrelated wines. Perhaps this is not a very solid explanation, so I would love to hear your theory if you got one.

Did you already have the Beaujolais Nouveau 2014? If you did, what kind and what did you think of it? Cheers!

Beaujolais Nouveau 2012 – Not To Be Missed!

November 19, 2012 7 comments

Walk into the wine store on third Thursday in November, and most likely you are  greeted with the abundance of wines with brightly colored labels, which were not there just a day ago. Yes, that means that Beaujolais Nouveau, the wine of new vintage, made out of grape called Gamay in Beaujolais in France, has arrived.

As with many other wine in France, Beaujolais wines have a very long history, despite the fact that officially Beaujolais AOC was established only in 1937. It was always a tradition in the region to make young fresh wine of the current vintage just to celebrate harvest. For the long time this was only a local tradition. In the 1970th, it became national phenomena in France. In the 1980th, the tradition of celebration spread out in Europe and then got to the North America – largely with the help of Georges Duboeuf, a négociant who recognized the marketing value of Beaujolais Nouveau (here is Wikipedia link if you want to read more on the subject).

Interestingly enough, the sheer marketing success of Beaujolais Nouveau became its biggest problem, as many serious wine drinkers simply dismiss the wine as a marketing gimmick, which was definitely not something intended to happen.

This years marks 30th anniversary of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations, so a little bit of magic had being used to acknowledge the occasion. Each bottle of 2012 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is wrapped in an Augmented Reality label, which can  be used to deliver magical experience via free Georges Duboeuf Magic application available for download from iTunes (for more information use this link).

For many years by now, I’m always looking forward to trying Beaujolais Nouveau once it is released. What I remember from those past years is that the wine would show up very grapey and not very balanced. True, it is a young wine, but overall, I didn’t get much pleasure out of it. However, for the past 2-3 years, Beaujolais Nouveau had been steadily improving, showing more finesse, more substance and more balance. This year, 2012 – it simply got me to say “wow”.

2012 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau (ABV 12%, $8.99) had nice and inviting bright ruby color. From the moment the wine went into the glass, the aromas of fresh strawberries and raspberries literally filled the room. This is the wine which I can smell indefinitely. On the palate the wine was fresh and open, with the same strawberries and raspberries flavor profile, supplemented by good acidity. Medium body, very balanced and with medium length finish – definitely the wine to enjoy. Drinkability: 8

Almost as a tradition by now, I always get another bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau – for the most of the cases it is Beaujolais Nouveau made by Joseph Drouhin. This 2012 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau (ABV 12%, $10.99) had very similar color to Georges Duboeuf wine, may be a touch darker. The nose was less explicit with the actual fruit and somewhat grapey. On the palate this wine was a touch more dense than Georges Duboeuf, but also more closed in comparison with it. While Joseph Drouhin was a very decent wine in my opinion (Drinkability: 7), my strong preference goes to the Georges Duboeuf.

I don’t know how do you feel about Beaujolais Nouveau overall, but 2012 is definitely not to be missed. The wine is not only representing a great QPR, but it will also give you a lot of pleasure. Beaujolais Nouveau wines don’t age, and when they gone, they are gone. Don’t miss your chance to experience Beaujolais Nouveau – it’s worth it.

That’s all I wanted to share with you, folks. Until the next time – cheers!

 

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, International Tempranillo Day, Beaujolais Nouveau, Bad Wine Reviews and more

October 31, 2012 9 comments

Meritage Time – and Happy Halloween!

Let’s start our meritage post from the regular place – an answer for the last week’s Wine Quiz #34 – Hello, my name is… I would like to say that I’m quite happy with this quiz, as there was a very good participation, and there was a full range of answers, covering all available options.

And the winners are (drum roll, please) PSsquared, VinoinLove and thedrunkencyclist as  they all correctly guessed that Predicament is not a wine name. Believe it or not, but the rest of the names on the list are for the real wines. I don’t have the labels to show you for all of them, but here is some information and the links.

if you see kay: the wine is made by Jason Woodbridge, and yes, the name is controversial – here is one of the articles on the subject.

No girls: an actual wine by Christophe Baron, the winemaker behind Cayuse – here is the link to the winery’s web site, and here is the link to my short post about that wine (I’m a happy owner of a few bottles from the inaugural release).

Frequency: I can’t show you the label or a good link, as 2011 Frequency Central Coast GSM is the first release of the wine. You can search for it on Wades Wines web site (I guess this is the only merchant carrying it right now).

To the rescue: an actual wine by legendary Sine Qua Non, California’s cult Rhone style winemaker. The full name of the wine is Sine Qua Non Grenache To The Rescue, and you can look for it on Wine-Searcher (don’t be shocked at the prices, and if you will get a bottle for yourself, can you get one for me too, please?).

Let’s move on to the interesting news from around the vine. First, I want to bring to your attention that November 8th is International Tempranillo Day – if you read this blog for a while, I’m sure you know that I’m very impartial to the Spanish wines, and Rioja in particular, and Tempranillo is a star there. Tempranillo is also successfully grown in many other regions of the world – Australia, California and Texas come to mind first. Find a bottle of Tempranillo and join the celebration on November 8th!

Talking about celebrations – Beaujolais Nouveau 2012 is almost here! The new harvest celebration, originated by the French wine maker and wine merchant Georges DuBoeuf, takes place on third Thursday in November, which this year will fall on November 15th. The Beaujolais Nouveau arrival is celebrated with parties and events all around the world, and celebration this year will be special, as it will be the 30th celebration of this tradition. Look for the events in your area – I’m sure you will find some interesting places to visit and celebrate in style. At the very least, make sure to pick up a bottle of that young wine and celebrate in the comfort of your home.

One of my favorite wine bloggers, W. Blake Gray, is back from vacation, so I’m offering to your attention an interesting blog post about bad wine reviews.

Last but not least, here is the post by Joe Roberts, a.k.a. 1WineDude, where he is defending usage of oak in the wines. I’m also curious what do you think about oak in your wines, so feel free to use comments section and express yourself.

That’s all for today, folks. The glass is empty. Happy (and spookingly exciting) Halloween Wine Wednesday! Cheers!

Crus of Beaujolais, Year 2011 – Part 2

July 16, 2012 7 comments

I like sequels, Well, in the movies – sometimes, not so much. But when it comes to the writing, whatever you forgot to say in the first part, you can say in the second, and feel good about it, claiming that this was the intent from the get go.

What I didn’t mention in the first post about great tasting of Georges Duboeuf 2011 Beaujolais portfolio is that red Beaujolais make one of the best red wines for summer – they are typically light in alcohol (if you noticed, 13% ABV was the most for all wines mentioned in the first post), and they also taste the best when they are slightly chilled. Considering how hot this summer is across pretty much the whole US territory, I hope this will help you to find a good red wine for the hot day, because sometimes it just have to be red.

In the first post, I described a self-guided part of tasting. That tasting was followed by the lunch, both of which (tasting and the lunch) taking place at db Bistro Modern, one of the restaurants of the famous chef Daniel Boulud.

Georges Duboeuf opened the event with presentation of 2011 vintage. Here is my best effort transcript of what he said (remember, I’m not a professional journalist, I’m only pretending): “2011 was a great year. Budding started in April, then flowering started in June, and then harvest started August 22nd and lasted for two weeks. Some areas experienced periods of drought. Overall, grapes reached very good level of ripeness. 2005 and 2009 (considered best in a very long time) were good, but 2011 might be even a little bit better than 2009. Throughout the vintage, there are lots of black cherry and earthy notes.”

After Georges Duboeuf’s presentation, the first dish was served – “Legumes du Marche” – Young Garden Vegetables, Fromage Blanc Dressing, Lavender Honey Vinaigarette.

This dish was paired with 2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages, and it worked together very well by wine complementing soft and earthy flavors of the vegetables.

Next, Frank Duboeuf presented two white wines, Macon-Villages and Pouilly-Fuisse (please see detailed note below). He said that 2011 was equally good year for both whites and the reds, which is a very rare situation. I didn’t take the detailed notes though, as I was preoccupied with parallel discussion at the table and delicious pairing of wine and food ( bad journalism : ( )

White wines were served with the next course, Seafood Risotto – Black Sea Bass, Scallops, Squids, Cockles, Fennel, Tomato Confit “Fumet” Emulsion.

Pouilly-Fuisse worked perfectly well with risotto, which was a unique experience for me. Creaminess of risotto cancelled out some sharpness of the chardonnay, creating next level of experience.

For the next course, Georges Duboeuf presented two red wines, Morgon and Julienas. He described Morgon as having “violet, cassis, kirsch on the nose, same flavors on the palate. A lot of structure. This wine will age very well”. Regarding Julienas, he said that “it is a very special wine, it has great personality. 2011 was a lot like 2009. This particular wine had the biggest success over the last 5-6 years. It was very critical to expand the vineyard (by 4 acres) for the success of this wine. This is a very noble wine with great aging potential. The wine was bottled a week before, right before the event”.

These two reds accompanied the last course of the meal – Duo of Beef – Braised Short Ribs, Beef Tenderloin, Spring Vegetables, Sauce Bordelaise.

I have to tell that while both food and wine were delicious in its own right, they didn’t work together, so the pairing was not successful by not elevating the whole meal to the next level. But I also have to admit that both food and wine really didn’t bother each other too much – they were really two absolutely parallel experiences without a merge or a collision (which is often the case when wine and food don’t work together).

And then…there was a dessert, which was delicious and not paired with any wines (I also have no idea how this little cookies should be called, but it was very hard to stop eating them).

Here are the detailed notes for the wines:

2011 Georges Duboeuf Macon-Villages Domaine Les Chenevieres, Maconnaise, France (100% Chardonnay, SRP: $13.99, 12.5% ABV, 5000 cases produced) – Very nice, hint of hazelnut and citrus on the nose, good fruit, good balance, good acidity, hint of white apples, touch of vanilla and touch of oak on the palate. (Drinkability: 7+)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuisse Domaine Beranger, Maconnaise, France (100% Chardonnay, SRP: $17.99, 13% ABV, 3500 cases produced, 1200 imported) – this wine comes from the best area, the actual town of Pouilly-Fuisse. This wine had more pronounced chardonnay qualities than the previous wine – vanilla, touch of citrus and oak notes, excellent balance. (Drinkability: 8- )

2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $9.99, 12.5% ABV) – very nice, good balance, a little tartness on the palate, but good overall. (Drinkability: 7)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Morgon, Domaine Jean Descombes, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $15.99, 13% ABV) – good acidity, fresh fruit, light, soft, a bit too grapey to be great – but should improve with time. (Drinkability: 7)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Julienas Chateau des Capitans, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $18.99, 14% ABV) – excellent depth, good power, good body, excellent balance. (Drinkability: 8)

All in all, it was one great event, both in the information and experience. Summer is still on, my friends – go find a bottle of Beaujolais to kick it off after a long day. And make an extra effort to find one of Georges Duboeuf wines – it will well worth it. Cheers!

Crus of Beaujolais, Year 2011

July 10, 2012 2 comments

(this self-rant doesn’t belong to this blog post, but I have to let it out of the system. I don’t understand how this works – this post was supposed to be out more than a month ago – the event was great, and the content was very clear in my head – nevertheless, it took soooo long to actually write it. Sometimes, the road from the head to the paper medium is all so twisty, not straight at all. The things are not what they appear… But I think we can proceed now.)

When you hear the word “Beaujolais”, what is the first thing which comes to mind? Beaujolais Noveau? Yes, me too. At the same time, Beaujolais is a large wine producing region, in area much bigger than Burgundy which it is technically considered to be a part of. And of course there is a lot more wine produced in the Beaujolais region than just a Beaujolais Noveau, a celebratory wine of a new vintage.

At the beginning of June, I was lucky enough to be invited for the tasting of the 2011 portfolio of wines of Georges Deboeuf. Georges Deboeuf is one of the largest and well-known wine merchants in France. He is credited with literally single-handily creating the Beaujolais Noveau phenomenon and often is called the “King of Beaujolais”. I also think that his success with Beaujolais Noveau, both wine and celebration of the new vintage with pleasant but very simple grapey wine, appearing in the stores all over the world always on the third Thursday in November, is also an enemy of serious Beaujolais wines, which can be absolutely fantastic – but this can be a subject for a whole different post, so let’s talk about the portfolio tasting of 2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais wines.

No, wait. Before we talk about the wines presented in the tasting, let’s take a quick look at Beaujolais wine region. Beaujolais region is located to the south of Burgundy. Red wines constitute absolute majority of wine production in Beaujolais, and Gamay is pretty much the only grape used in the production of that red wine (with small plantings of Pinot Noir been phased out little by little). White wines are produced from Chardonnay with Aligote been also allowed, but overall production of white wines is miniscule. Three levels of wines are produced in Beaujolais – Beaujolais, which allows usage of the grapes from the whole appellation – these wine should generally be avoided; Beaujolais-Villages, which are better quality wines, and so called Cru wines (top level). There are 10 Crus in Beaujolais – Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié and Saint-Amour. In general, Beaujolais wines are considered simple and easy (and thus work well with wide variety of food), and also have lesser aging potential than, for instance, the wines of neighboring Burgundy (however aging is usually defined by the talent of winemaker more than anything else). Now that you know all the theory of the Beaujolais wines, let’s talk about tasting.

The tasting was organized by CRT/Tanaka and I would like to thank Caroline Helper (@ForgetBurgundy) for invitation. The tasting took place at DB Bistro Moderne in Manhattan, and it was split into two parts – self-guided tasting of 12 different newly released wines from Georges Duboeuf portfolio (some wines on the list were denoted as barrel samples, as they were just bottled a week before the event), following by organized lunch. Little bites of food were served during the self-guided tasting, and I had an opportunity to try a famous Daniel Burger (with foie gras inside!) – and it was absolutely delicious.

Here I will share with you my notes from the self-guided tasting – description of the lunch, where both Georges and Frank Duboeuf presented their wines, will make up a separate post (ahh, I hope it will not take me another month to write it!). Of course I can’t leave you with just notes, so you will also see some pictures.

2010 Georges Duboeuf Macon-Villages, Maconnaise, France (100% Chardonnay, SRP: $12.99, 13% ABV) – Crisp acidity, interestingly nutty nose, hint of green apple, very mineral on the palate, with hint of limestone (Drinkability: 7)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, France (100% Chardonnay, SRP: $19.99, 13% ABV) – green notes on the nose, lime zest, light, effervescent and crisp on the palate, with a hint of tropical fruit, very refreshing (Drinkability: 8- )

2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $9.99, 12.5% ABV) – Fresh fruit nose, very tannic, more fruit and tannins on the palate, with tannins literally reaching Barolo levels. Needs time and may be different temperature (Drinkability: 6 at the moment, but this wine needs to be reassessed)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Chiroubles, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $13.99, 13% ABV) – plums, acidity out of balance, tamed red fruit on the nose, tannins on the second taste (Drinkability: 6+)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Brouilly, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $14.99, 13% ABV) – tart cherries on the nose and palate, more balance than the previous wine, but still lacking a bit (Drinkability: 7- )

2011 Georges Duboeuf Brouilly Chateau de Nervers, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $15.99, 12.5% ABV) – closed, not balanced, all over the place – fruit, acidity, tannins are not harmonious (Drinkability: 6+)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Morgon, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $14.99, 13% ABV) – very nice nose with open fruit, too dry on the palate, very tannic, needs more fruit (Drinkability: 7- )

2011 Georges Duboeuf Fleurie, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $15.99, 13% ABV) – good fruit, ghood acidity, reasonably balanced (Drinkability: 7)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Domaine des Quatre Vents Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $18.99, 13% ABV) – very nice! Round fruit on the nose and the palate, very good balance (Drinkability: 8- )

2011 Georges Duboeuf  Julienas, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $14.99, 13% ABV) – pleasant nose, good acidity, but fruit is closed (Drinkability: 7)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $15.99, 13% ABV)- fresh fruit on the nose, lacks substance on the palate, needs more power – this wine is red like white (Drinkability: 7)

2011 Georges Duboeuf Moulin-a-Vent Domaine des Rosiers, Beaujolais, France (100% Gamay, SRP: $17.99, 13% ABV) – very nice, beautiful color, good fruit on the nose, hint of minerality and spices, good red fruit, plums and raspberries on the palate. Best of tasting. (Drinkability: 8- )

In the end of the day, all the wines were showing very well, and if you think about QPR, all the wines were great values. Make no mistake – some of these wines are in a very limited production (especially all the Domaine-denoted wines), so you will need to make an effort to find them. But – it worth the reward!

That’s all for my first part of the report, folks. Until the next time – cheers!

Tasting Beaujolais Noveau 2011 and a Little Bit of Scotch

November 20, 2011 2 comments

Appearance of Beaujolais Nouveau bottles in the wine stores squarely underscores an important notion which is up in the air anyway: the holidays are here, and the year is going to wind up very quickly from here on. But the last six weeks of the year are not going away without a bang – there will be lots of great food and great wine everywhere.

So what do you think about Beaujolais Nouveau 2011? Here are my impressions. To begin with, I like the label of the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 – it is very bright and attractive, purely an urban statement with graffiti lettering. As as the wine itself is concerned, it was okay, more in style with the years prior to 2010. Let me put it this way – the Beaujolais Nouveau 2010 was real wine of a good depth, a thought provoking wine (here is the link to the post about 2010 wines) – 2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau was just that – a Beaujolais Nouveau wine which can be gulped quickly without much reflection. Bright fresh fruit, very grapey – but in need of an overall balance.

I liked the taste of Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 more, as it was combining brightness of the fresh fruit with an overall structure – this wine had legs to stand on, had a nice balance with good acidity and some earthy notes – this will be one of the wines I want to see on our Thanksgiving table (we will talk about Thanksgiving wines  in the next post). In any case, drink your Beaujolais Nouveau quickly – these wines are not meant to be kept for the long time.

If you are puzzled by the title of this blog, let me explain. No, Scotch has nothing to do with Beaujolais Nouveau – I just happened to stop by Cost Less Wines last Wednesday and try more Scotches from Douglas Laing. Here are some which I would like to note: Linkwood 13 from Speyside was very light, with a hint of smoke and most interestingly, with grape finish. It is very interesting, as it was not finished in any of the wine barrels – it was actually finished in used bourbon casks.

Next, outside of getting into “smoky” category, the Scotch I liked the best was Clynelish 15 from Highlands – it was both very complex and smooth. Complexity is something which I really enjoy in the Scotch (this is why Macallan is never my favorite – I don’t find enough complexity in the taste). Finally my most favorite Scotch from this tasting was Caol Ila 14 from Islay – pronounced smokiness and power, a great scotch if you are into smoky flavors at all. Overall, it was great #WhiskyWednesday, as they say it on Twitter.

The next time I want to talk about Thanksgiving wines – but please tell me, what wines will be on your table on Thursday?