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Jul 13, 2010 10:45 AM


Although I am by no means the first to sing the praises of Cru Beaujolais, I do feel the need to call out anyone uttering the words: ‘it’s just Beaujolais’. Those of us that have been lucky enough to drink quality Beaujolais know that there is much more to Gamay than all that banana-scented, Nouveau garbage out there and that the 10 crus can each bring out a different aspect of the grape. While I may not be able to convince a Zin-lover to ditch his favourite bottle in favour of a Julienas, the least I can do is prove that not all Beauj is plonk.

That being said, I’ve decided to feature Cru-B’s for my wine group’s next tasting. This tasting has been delayed a couple of times, and I’ve unfortunately drained my stocks of interesting bottles from ‘abroad’ (see, Chambers Street Wines) – so, I’m stuck with the selection at the SAQ. I'm sure that there are some interesting bottles available, but I’m looking for suggestions from the ‘hounds of anything worth trying. I’m familiar with the majority of the JP Brun bottles, and also have enjoyed wines of L. Martray.

The Domaine du Vissoux Moulin-à-Vent (2009!) will definitely be one of the bottles. Has anyone tried it yet?

I hear the SAQ will be receiving some Lapierre Morgon’s this fall!

Thanks for your help!

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  1. While I've been tasting and buying mainly private imports of late, if I were organizing a tasting I'd be looking at some of the following (in addition to the Bruns, of course):

    - Chénas "Quartz" 2006, Piron & Lameloise (lighter than the outstanding 2005 but wonderfully pure)
    - Moulin-à-Vent des Hospices 2006, Collin Bourisset
    - Juliénas 2007, Domaine du Clos du Fief, Michel Tête (always one of the best QPR wines; a 2004 opened a month ago was just singing)

    I'd also be tempted to slip in a couple of odd bottles:
    - Moulin-à-Vent 2006, Clos des Rochegrès, Château des Jacques (Louis Jadot), a damn-the-expense cuvée that's more Burgundian (or maybe even Pomerolian) than Beaujolaisian. Big, impressive (but not overdone) and quite elegant, though probably not worth it's $50 asking price.
    - Gamay 2006, Niagara Peninsula, Malivoire Wine, the best Canadian Gamay I've encountered; would make a good ringer and probably surprise some of your group.

    You might also try contacting some of the agencies that specialize in natural wines to see if they would sell you single bottles that your group could private order if it liked them: oenopole (Vionnet), La QV (Coquelet), Rézin (Lapierre, Foillard, Descombes, Pacalet, Métras).

    BTW, many of the 2008s, including the Bruns, are lighter than usual. At a recent Bojo event attended by most of the oenopole, La QV and Rézin producers mentioned above, Lapierre and Foillard both said as much and also said that 2009 was likely the best vintage they'd ever seen, though alcohol levels will be high (14% in many cases!). So, probably a good idea to go with the Vissoux MàV.

    6 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      Thanks for these suggestions, Carswell.

      Re: Private Imports - aren't you obliged to buy in cases, or have I missed something?

      Good call on the Malivoire.

      1. re: BrentMTL

        «aren't you obliged to buy in cases, or have I missed something»

        Yes, though some agencies have been known to sell single bottles (they usually have a supply for showing to restaurateurs) for tastings, especially if it may result in an order.

        1. re: carswell

          I will definitely be exploring this option - thanks again!

      2. re: carswell

        from a Sommelier I have to say carswell that i'm very impressed with your little write up and your knowledge of our market.

        I had the pleasure of being invited to a Rezin tasting where they dug up old vintages of the producers you mentioned from the mid 90's and i was very impressed with the evolution of these wines.

        I went to the 'big' Bojo tasting this past spring and my favorite was Coquelet. Also just to add Oenopole has another amazing producer called Chamonard and if you see it or have access i'd try it... i had a 1996 not to long ago that was amazing.

        I agree the Malivoire is one of the best value wines of the past year and by far the best Gamay i've had from this side of the ocean.

        1. re: KzenCass

          KzenCass - I have contacted Oenopole as well, thanks. Pullman offered a vertical of Chamonards at some point last year. Can't remember if it went as far back as '96, but it was definitely great to taste through a few vintages side-by-side.

          off topic-
          How would you suggest getting plugged-in to these types of events - importer tastings, private events (with or without the famous bill z), etc.? Is there any resource in particular or is it really just staying on mailing lists? I always seem to hear about these tastings after they have taken place!

          1. re: BrentMTL

            You have to keep in touch with them.

            Most of the time, the events will be posted on the agent's web sites (and/or delivered via mailing lists), for example, Oenopole list their more public events on their sites (they probably have 'private" events with a more "by-invitation" list of people)