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Cru Beaujolais

I've always enjoyed Moulin a' Vent for it's tight lead pencil quality. I once ordered a bottle of Brouilly at a cafe in Paris with a friend. We sent it back (it tasted "dead" and definitely not worth the 35 FRF that it cost). I remember saying to the waiter "I hope that this isn't a problem". He said "no, we'll just sell it at the bar by that glass. No one will be able to tell the difference". There was also an Italian/ French restaurant in Piccadilly where of course I wanted French and the SO wanted Italian. I ordered a bottle of Julienas. It was perfect with it's smooth opening and a bright tart finish for her tomato based pasta and my coq au vin. My nieces' name is Morgan. For her first birthday party I picked up a few bottles of Appellation "Morgon" ( to lay down for a few years [but they didn't survive the party with their dense dark animal/ fruit]).
Of the ten Cru Beaujolais these are the limits of my experience with them. If they are (or can be) "great" what makes them so IYHO?

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  1. I'm not trying to be difficult, but what makes ANY wine great? What makes a Cru Beaujolais great is no different than what makes a Grand Cru Burgundy great or a classified Bordeaux . . . Its character, its complexity, its depth, its expression of aroma and flavor -- and the fact that it's absolutely perfect at THIS moment with THIS food in THIS setting . . .

    Remember, there are no great wines, only great bottles! ;^)

    10 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      I guess then my question was: what was your best or most memorable experience with Cru Beaujolais?

      1. re: Chinon00

        Ah, sorry . . .

        Well, I did recall a 1971 Juliénas that I had at 10 years of age that was stunning! And more than once, I've had wines from Fleurie, Morgon and Brouilly (or Côte de Brouilly) that impressed the heck out of me, both in their youth and after several years in my cellar (becoming more "Burgundian" with age, even though -- obviously -- there is no Pinot Noir in sight!).

        Some producers you may want to look for include, but by no means are limited to:

        Fleurie -- Clos de la Roilette; Michel Chignard; Domaine de Quatre Vents.

        Moulin-à-Vent -- Domaine du Granit; Gino Bertolla; Bernard Diochon.

        Morgon -- Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes; Domaine Jean Calot; Domaine Jean Descombes.

        Juliénas -- Domaine Michel Tête.

        Brouilly -- Georges Viornery

        Côte de Brouilly -- Château Thivin.

        1. re: zin1953

          I see tons of George Duboeuf stuff out there (and at good prices). Which of his offerings are solid examples of cru beaujolais (if any)?

          1. re: Chinon00

            Be careful with Duboeuf. There are two "kinds." The easiest way to separate them is to look for the flower labels, and avoid them. But Duboeuf *does* bottle and sell some estates on their own -- these generally have a Duboeuf neck label, but the "main" label will look totally different. These can be excellent.

            Indeed, the Domaine de Quatre Vents and Domaine Jean Descombes I mentioned above are two such examples of these.

            Jason

            1. re: zin1953

              Bought a bottle of the Domaine Jean Descombes 2005 Morgon. Nose and taste were like a box of 64 count crayola crayons including violet red, violet purple, red violet, midnight blue, plum, periwinkle, orchid, maroon and blue violet.

            2. re: Chinon00

              To me Duboeuf's offerings are rather characterless and not great examples of Cru Beaujolais.

              1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

                IF . . .

                . . . you are talking about the ubiquitous Georges Dubeuof "flower label" bottlings, I completely agree with you (with the added comment that, while the Crus are better than his "straight" Beaujolais or Beaujolais-Villages "flower" bottlings, they still aren't very exciting).

                . . . you are referring to the estate-bottled wines that are produced by the specific domaine and merely marketed via Dubouef, then I respectfully disagree.

            3. re: zin1953

              Juliénas -- Domaine Michel Tête.

              I'd go severely mad for a few bottles of this. Loooove it

              1. re: cshmr77

                Yes! I really enjoy his wines . . . .

            4. re: Chinon00

              When I graduated with my Sommelier diploma in 2000, we enjoyed a celebratory dinner with our instuctor at a local Italian restaurant where the chef is a good friend.

              We each brought unique wines and my contribution was a mixed case that I was lucky enough to find, which contained one of each Cru Beaujolias as well as a couple of blends from one producer's vintage.

              An amazing time was had by all of us as we compared these wines, complemented by great food served to us family-style.

          2. I've never had a "great" Beaujolais. But I have had very enjoyable examples from Moulin a Vent (the best examples I've tried) as well as Fleurie, St. Amour, and Chirubles (sp?). I find the Moulin a Vent the sturdiest of all and, while one St. Amour I've had also could have used a couple of years, generally the only ones that can sometimes improve with a few years in the bottle after release. (I'm not saying that is true of all Moulin a Vent, just some.)

            8 Replies
            1. re: whiner

              I never cared for Beaujolais until I started drinking the expensive stuff, you know, pop for a $15 bottle. A lot of what they export to the US is bland.

              They say that Beaujolais is the most popular cafe wine in France. They re-use a plain wine bottle by filling it up from a keg. I usually save my best bottles of Burgundy to be enjoyed indoors.

              1. re: whiner

                > I've never had a "great" Beaujolais

                Niether have I. I find them always too acidic and not enough concentrated - sort of dilluted wines. To me they taste like quintessential cheap wines.

                1. re: olasek

                  I'll be happy to open some for you . . . .

                  1. re: zin1953

                    We are practically neigbours, this shouldn't be too hard to arrange .. lol!!

                    1. re: olasek

                      Let me know when you're coming to Berkeley . . . . I'm happy to oblige.

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Would you oblige a New Yorker as well? =)

                        I went to school at Cal from 96-00 and lived on the corner of Hearst and Shattuck, 3 houses down from Oscar's the burger joint.

                        If only I was of legal age. I don't think I would have ever left California if I enjoyed wines as much as I do now.

                        1. re: mengathon

                          When you come back for your reunion . . . .

                  2. re: olasek

                    What are your favorite Burgundies?

                    Thanks!

                2. I've recently been enjoying Ch. Basty's Regnie, one of the newer Crus. Really aromatic, great juicy fruit, and a touch of that graphite you mentioned in the OP. Delish with a slight chill (if only because it's almost July in NC, and that keeps it drinkable for the whole bottle if enjoying outside...).

                  1. I think I enjoy Louis Jadot Beaujolais more than Duboeuf. But it's always fun in November when the new one comes out. The last few years though, meh..