Tag Archives: beaujolais

Brouilly: the end

8 Aug


This is THE last! of the Beaujolais crus: Brouilly.

Before we drink just a wee reminder that the podcast is going strong. Get it on ye olde Apple Podcasts aka what podcasts on iTunes are now called. Or go on Stitcher or Youtube or just stream on the host site. Last week was some tasty aged Riesling so get into it!

Now. Let’s put Beaujolais to bed.

 I am into this producer. Pierre-Marie Chermette, to be specific. Or, well, ummmmm I was into their rosé as evidenced here. Then came this:

2014 Pierre-Marie Chermette Pierreux Brouilly

And I think I should be into this one. 
That is how it is here with this wine by Chermette. Love, love would watch/drink amillionandone times their stuff…but maybe not their Brouilly. I was just not on board. They were painstaking. The producers. Apparently they pruned and thinned to increase the ripeness. Yet to me this wine was still too green. Oof.

It needs time. Or maybe it was too old? Maybe the berries were fresher before? Everything in my soul said “this is appreciable wine” and yet I didn’t love. I’ll give you WSET stats and say IF you love a bright cab franc this may be your natural wine jam. Anyway WSET analysis:

Appearance: clear medium ruby with medium tears

Nose: clean, medium intensity. red berries, blueberries, greens. youthful.

Tongue: acid is medium plus, tannins medium minus, alcohol I’m guessing medium or minus like…12.5? Checking…13. Not close enough. I need blind tasting practice. Body is medium. Flavor intensity medium. Flavors? Raspberries, blueberries, green peppers, licorice or chervil. Finish? It goes on…for a medium amount of time. It is good quality. Balanced, lengthy enough, intense-ish, but not complex. It is good not exceptional while other examples of natural Brouilly I have had have been.

I am sorry but this is the end of the Beaujolais series. Unless I also cover Beaujois, Beaujolais-Villages and Beaujolais Nouveau. But for now I am Gamay-ed out. Well…we shall see. Because Gamay has a hold on my heart as does Pierre-Marie Chermette. Expect more from both!

Regnié and a Red Hat

3 Jul


The name of this wine inspired me to put on a red cap of my own.

Apologies to Mets, Cubs and Giants fans in particular, but I’m a Cardinals girl. Okay now that that’s out of the way–

On this Beaujolais journey we have swilled on down:

Morgon

Chiroubles

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas
And!
Saint-Amour

Okey dokey yea now we are on to Regnié. I talked about it once before.

But this one oh yes.

2012 Bonnet Rouge Regnié

Holy hell no sulfur! Normally I worry about that ending up stanky in a bad way but this is a natural phenomen. 

Thank god or I would think it unseemly… that this is…okay there is no polite way to say but cloudy.

Okay so also it is not penultimate in complexity. But it is more interesting than wines I’ve tasted three times the 10-ish dollar expense of this one.

If you hate: licorice, anise, or tarragon ye best run.

I LOVE this wine and probably would pay three times the amount it was (which would still be medium in price) because it is friggin’ RIFE with licorice-y taste deeeelite..but more than that anise? It makes me think of springerles–cookies my family makes around Christmas.

Which are the magic.

THE magic. This is an alcoholic springerle in a glass.

With just a bit more than a hint of the pastille I get in the Morgon. 

The Morgon has about as much pastille as I got in Chiroubles. This is a tiny region and hell now I want to open all three crus and do an anise-off between them. And I might chase that with some absinthe. Just so I can compare to the hardcore but jeez just all the anise/licorice/pastille etc ness. Y’all.

How does this compare? Oddly the further south I get the fresher the flavor I get. A phenomenon you see in say, Napa Velley but I don’t know it the type of wine (i.e. natural or not) has something to do with it. Still learning.

Anywho this has the delightful Gamay classic flavor of ALL sorts of cherries. Violets. And then that licorice and anise. The licorice and anise overwhelm my tastebuds but I FUCKING LOVE THEM. If you don’t this will undoubtedly be not good to you.

But fuck yah if I would not believe this bottle was 25-30. Not just under ten.

Bargain royalty.

And go Redbirds!! We need to win some more games so I can toast them with this red hat wine. 

Morgon meets whatever

25 Jun


Oh. Mmm. Gee. OMG. We have conquered–more than “covered” we’ve conquered! By which I mean we guzzled our ways through, in reverse order:

Chiroubles

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas

And!

Saint-Amour

Oh shit okay just go with me on the following pertaining to the following. And trust me because I use words like pertaining even when sipping alcoholic bevs.

The Transformers show song?

It was “more than meets the eye”. Those were the lyrics. But as a kid I thought it was “Morgan meats the eye”, which I imagined meant a guy named Morgan or Morgon was in the kitchen making a nice meatloaf of eye.

I was wrong. And Morgon wine tastes eons better than I’d imagine meat-y eyeloaf does, even if made by Morgon himself.

Morgon has no plans of “meat-ing” anything. But it has some damn fine vino.

Hell this wine:

2013 Chateau Grange Cochard Morgon Cote du Py.

Holy hell the cherry, the violets the…Violets. Again. Like Chiroubles. But also. The blueberries and maybe honey? 

It is certainly more than meets both the eye AND the nose. Take that, Transformers.

Oof

Okay WSET standards:

Eye: clear, medium ruby, medium slow tears but remember it is more!

Nose: clean, medium plus intensity, cherries, grass, strawberries and blackberries and some citrus (barely but once I call it out you’ll say fuck yah) whiffs. On the nose the hey fresh!-ness hits ya.

Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium minus tannins, medium alcohol–guessing 13% (just checked it whilst editing it is 13% which is medium whaddaya know the WSET’s taught me well). Body is medium. Flavor intensity is medium but…almost medium plus pending what temp you get served.

Taste, specifically is ALL the black cherries and blackberries and some dang grass and a hint or three of bloody raw green pepper but in a way I liked!

And those beautiful candied violets. Go find some violet pastilles. You’ll see. Violets and anise in perfect balance.

Definitely more than meats anything.

Especially if like me you don’t eat meat. Have some more wine instead.

Chiroubles: some would call it gender fluid. i call it fluid.

19 Jun


ONWARDDDD!!!!!

We have tackled Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-a-Vent, and Fleurie! So let us keep on. To Chiroubles!!

Specifically:

2015 Laurent Gauthier Chiroubles Chatenay “Vielles Vignes”

I got this sucker for about 14 bucks from guess………duh Garagiste.

Oh golly apparently these “old vines” were planted on a steep pink granitic arena. HELLZ YEAH THIS WINE IS A BEEFY WINE AND YET FROM PINK SOIL!

Pink pussy power y’all. Pink granite grit. Feel it. Vinified in whole clusters in concrete vats.

This shit is hardcore essence of pink granitic Gamay and I am into it. It is a delightfully balanced wine, essence-wise. The acid is balanced with ripe blueberry and cherry fruitiness (which so may confuse with sweetness). The light tannins are balanced with…well they are still light but have strong handshake. Wicked oaky tannins would detract from what I ADORE that is hard to find in say…well I don’t know but. Soil is a lady y’all.

What I am saying is this wine has light flowers and I love it. Violets. This wine is violets and I want to french kiss it. As for the finish this wine doesn’t last long or change which is fine. I mean there are the vinos whose finish is so complex and crazy you can’t believe it and want to dwell on it forever but day to day I am a working lady. Sometime I want a quickie.

This wine is tough on the outside but then…those violets. Tasty.

In terms of comparison this wine, as compared to the other crus of Beaujolais is not as tough as most but fuller than Fleurie. Which is full but lacks manliness.

Chiroubles is gender fluid wine. It is true. I hear you giggling at that. Stop making fun of me. It is funny because it is true.

So actually, go ahead and laugh. I own my silliness. I’m macho like that.

Gimme some fleurs 

11 Jun


Real quick: this week we had actress Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, anyone?) on the podcast. And get into how to talk about cat pee notes in New Zealand wine so…listen to it here!

And now.

Fleuries! Oh yes my dahhhhhlings having gotten through Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, AND those devilish windmills aka Moulin-A-Vent we are  moving on to our darling flowers: Fleurie.

2014 Chateau de Grand Pre Fleurie

The gorgeous thing about French wines is they SOUND like they taste.

Moulins tilt. Saint-Amour is complex as true love. Brouilly brews up trouble and Chénas? Well it chains you to Beaujolais😁. 

Fleurie stays true to its name in that it tends to be more aromatic of flowers like violets. And it can be light and delicate like a lovely rose blossom. Makes you wonder what influences what more–the name or the wine?

I am doing this series probably more for my own education than anyone else’s. 

Ugh okay for all the following add “plus flowers and a whiff bubble gum” to the description and you’ll get the more typical Fleurie I like. Not as flowery and jammy as Beaujolais noveau but Fleurie does have some of those delightful things from time to time. Because carbonic maceration.

This Fleurie appeals to hipsters who like raw and natural. Let’s get WSET-y:

Look: medium and muddy grape-purple colored and the tears are slow but medium.

Nose: Oh funk a hit of oils! But otherwise raw green pepper and cherries and mulberries. Hint of allspice.

On yer tongue: Dry as f and acid as almost f and alcohol also medium (oh let me check label says 13% abv yup medium) tannins medium minus, body medium minus (for red), intensity of flavor is perhaps medium maybe even medium plus.

I’d like some more Fleuries and I’d take some flowers too. But if forced to decide between I’d likely take the wine first. Just sayin’.

Cheers darlings. Pick a flower for me. 

LET US TILT at MOULIN-A-VENT

4 Jun


We are soldiering through the crus like the Beaujolais crusaders we are.

It is funny. I am…well…I do ballet. People tend to think I am delicate but I am not. I am not a flower. I like to think I am a goddamn shrub. Ready to conquer. So…

Is this “I am invincible” concept of myself delusional, like tilting at windmills thinking they are the enemy? 

Nah. 

I don’t tilt at enemies. I tilt at problems and ambitions. And wines. Like this one from an area named for windmills. Except it is named in the French language. I tilt in French. 

AT:

2015 Domaine Laurent Perrachon Moulin-a-Vent “Terres Roses”

Found via Garagiste

SO if this wine were a fight: You see purple. Normally people see red if angered but when moved to tilt, you see the delightful ruby-ish purple of this vin.

Sniff the wind for your target. Clean, medium plus intensity REDOLENT I tell you of purple and red and black plums. All the plums except like maybe the green ones. Earth, spices, a hint of mint and lilac. 

Young as my goddamned soul. That’s a lie I have been seventy since I was 10. But this wine is young as my social life. 

On the palate the vino is dry as sin, acidic as fuck, tannic as all get out which is perhaps why the Perrachon website says to age at least three years. And I waited two. 

Because I also tilt at tannins.

The wine could tilt at the Juliénas. Because as I established a couple of weeks ago Juliénas is heavy. But if this tilted at the Chénas or St-Amour I tasted this wine would knock it the f out.

Alcohol is medium (13% abv) and is full of red cherries, blackberries, purple and black plums, a hint of allspice and more dirt but like tasty dirt. The dirt you eat when, whilst tilting, you take a tumble and eat dirt but you are glad to eat it because it will energize you to get up and keep fighting. There is a knock of pepper in said dirt. The intensity and body of this wine galvanize you.

Get up from that dirt! GO HARD for the finish! The medium plus finish! This fight did not last terribly long, but it was interesting and ever changing. Which if you are not comprehending my stupid metaphors means this wine’s finish could be longer but it is elegantand moves through a few tastes and feelings. Or like the bruises you endured that go from black to red to purple to yellow-green brown before disappearing, this wine has a few faces before leaving you.

GO! Nurse your wounds. Perhaps with wine.

Chénas? CheNOT. Harharhar

22 May


Oh hey this is the wine that held me up from being ready to write my whole Beaujolais series. I could not friggin’ find a Chénas. Until finally Garagiste came through. With:

2015 Pascal Aufranc “En Remont Vignes de 1939”


Please excuse the hasty nature of that pic. Been busy making this podcast n such.

Honestly maybe there is a reason this cru is not around much, because this is possibly my least favorite Beaujolais cru thus far–I’ve  tasted St-Amour, Julienas, Moulin-vent, Fleurie, Morgon, Regnié and Brouilly so far, so I have a tad bit of experience.

Okay. So this Chènas is good but a bit green for me. Okay? So Garagiste says to drink 2018-2024. Okay okay! So maybe I drank it 6 months early and if I’d waited the green would have…evolved…so okay…just okay. 

On the good side! This wine is:

A delicious smell that you can’t quite place. Maybe it smells like blueberry pie. But not in a way that makes you hungry. It smells like lavender and pine trees too but jussssst enough to relax you. And then that is not actually quite the wine’s smell just the essence. 

It is a wine you suck down to chill out on a night in. A quiet time before the next day when you fly off the next job, wine, book, audition, destination whichever…

Or so I surmise. Until I can fly to 2018 and beyond and sip this wine I cannot say where it will go.

I love Gamay enough I’ll give Chénas more tries. Until the I am going to be continuing my trek (virtually) through the crus. Onward!

Et tu, Beaujolais? Yup this Juliénas will kill

21 May


Firstly pretty please check out The Whine Situation, my new comedy n wine podcast on iTunes and  we just got added to Stitcher too yeaaaaaaaa. If you like it n wanna give us an iTunes subscribe or rating all the better. 

One more distraction before the next cru! I was a guest on The Delightful Table, a fantastic blog by my friend Scheherezade features sustainable cooking and seasonal veggies. We experimented pairing “difficult to pair” veggies with wines. Check out the artichoke madness here


And now. We are moving on down through the Beaujolais crus! From flippant Saint-Amour to rather stern Juliénas! A jerk face who is sinister and will beat your mouth up. In a good way, of course!

Named for Caesar. Shall we salad with this wine? Would a Caesar salad pair well? Huh, I feel like maybe not but it’s worth investigating. The wine in question:

2015 David-Beaupere Juliénas “Vayolette”

I got it for about 20 bucks from Garagiste, my favorite source for interesting wines at jolly prices.
Juliénas has a variety of terroirs but the unifying factor tends to be that they are bigger and rougher wines.

This wicked wine was grown in yards of volcanic blue stone, and was made organically. It is a unique devil.

Holy moly it’s high alcohol! 15 % abv. Holy heck it bashes your tongue with little blue pebbles and bramble cranberries! I don’t care if bramble cranberries are not a thing in case you were concerned. I taste violets are blooming in the pebbles to boot. What is this specimen? How is it conquering me with so many different sensations that don’t match yet go together?

And holy holy hell is this wine dark.

Purple as sin. Presuming sin’s true color when showing true colors is purple. The darkness is in flavor too: black pepper, a bit of…I dunno. This is a total snobby “I imagine” tasting note but I bet if those dark purple irises–ya know the flower I’m speaking of?–had a flavor it would be in this wine.

The biggest difference between this and our friend St. Love is the power and the depth. The similarity? The lack of tannins! Many times I taste a tannic wine and describe it as beating my mouth up but this tongue-beater does so without tannins.

Tricky tricky sly sly Caesar.

Now to make that salad (but sans anchovies in the dressing seeing as I’m a vegetarian).

Cheers and tongue-lashings! 

Let Us Stay: Beaujolais

13 Dec


Okay so I swear my ten-part series on cru Beaujolais is coming. I am in the midst of amassing a wine from each cru. St-Amour is hard to find, y’all. But I’m on it.

IN THE MEANTIME PINNNNNNNK! Pink as in Rosé.

From a winemaker who you may just see resurface in the ten-part series but HOLY HECK I love this producer:

2015 Pierre-Marie Chermette Vissoux “Les Griottes” Beaujolais Rosé

While generally I claim this as THE BEST I’d say on another note this may be at least one of the best. Shit, you guys. I have enough love in my heart for A LOT of rosés out there.

YAS Gamay rosé from the Chermette’s YAS.

I don’t know if the grammar was correct for Chermette’s. Are Pierre and Marie one or two people? Should I have said “Chermettes'”? These things matter.

But not as much as my tasting notes. Sweet babies.

Okay I lie I paused and did some research: Pierre-Marie and Martine Chermette were the upstarts of sustainable viticulture in Beaujolais. So Pierre-Marie is one person. This is a natural wine. Like it waits for the natural yeast to do it’s duty.

That yeast knew what was up!

This wine. Okay I’ll get to my tasting notes. At last:

Gorgeous salmon color. Peach melba on the nose. Dry. HIGH acid. Medium alcohol. Medium plus body as far as a rosé goes! There is some viscousity. More peach melba in the mouth. When I say peach melba I mean peaches plus acidic raspberries plus vanilla n cream. There is a hint of minerality but it is very smooth. Sanded stones. The finish LINGERS! ON! FURTHER THAN YOU’D EXPECT FOR A ROSÉ!

THIS IS THE MAGIC. FRENCH BEAUJOLAIS MAGIC.

This Gamay is my true love.

For now. I’m a fickle beast.

Meow.

 

Because funk noveau

6 Dec


Let’s shut our eyes, close our ears and sew our mouths shut and pretend Beaujolais Noveau were not such a THING because it leads to people overlook the rest of this righteous region. Then unstitch our lips, open eyes, and take the cotton out of our ear holes and take in Régnié.

This is Beaujolais CRU ma sweet babees.

From Regnié. 

I promise I’ll do a ten-part series on the 10 Beaujolais cru vineyards. They exist up north where the soil is granitic and the living is…well it involves a lot of time with the vines but then the living is party. From what I hear.

Let’s get down with this lovely specimen, purchased for a mere 25 from Domaine LA where the living is delicious.

2015 Julien Sunier Régnié Gamay

Lemme see, if I was at a bar and this wine was some cute lady who engaged me in convo because hey, we are two ladeees minding our own business (sorta) at a wine bar…well this is that lady:

Conventionally attractive, and decidedly feminine, wearing some almost arty but mostly Refinery 29-approved wardrobe, this woman drops some pop-culture references that make you want to dismiss her but then a random lesser known Joy Division song comes on and she knows it and still is perky on the surface but she has an open mind. She’s deeper than you gave her credit at first sip. I mean taste. I mean swallow I mean… 

She is green too. Like fresh. Not jaded. Fuck it this girl sorta gets me but like when I’m in a light-hearted mood.

Okay fine, but technically how is she? And her legs? Hahahahhaa. Bad joke I know moving on this WINE is medium ruby purply brew. 

On the nose it is rocks, cherries and dark grape Bubblicious NOT a joke I love that shit. 

On the tongue: dry as can be if grape Bubblicious could be unsweetened. Then comes cherries, raspberry cream soda maybe even…Dr. Pepper? Yes Dr. Pepper. And rocky darkness but barely. Just a hint of the dark side. 

The tannins are medium. They suck at your gums one moment then are like “hey kidding” we are silky fun! Slightly cedar-y fun. Christmas tree delight. 

The alcohol is decidedly not too high (just checked it is 12.5) so you are like hey there is a friendly bite to this! Just a nip of alcohol heat. 

Body I want to say is light from the effervescent nature of what I’m guessing is semi-carbonic maceration. That may be at play but as I did sense some tannins and alcohol it does not keep this from having some body. 

Normally the “medium” nature of many of this wine’s characteristics mighttttt make it far to normal, but like that gal at the bar it is not. It is light enough to banter with but deep enough to carry on with. And if the two of you keep talking well…that friendship may deepen.