Celebrate Beaujolais with a stunning 2009 cru

Beaujolais is in the air today–and not just because it is being dropped on an unsuspecting world via airfreight. It is Beaujolais nouveau day, a marketing contrivance that seems to have less impact every year.

But it’s a good springboard for talking about the spectacular 2009s from the region’s smaller appellations, known as “crus.” I was initially skeptical, but have tasted through several and found them excellent indeed! The warm growing season resulted in richer wines but the best producers were able to keep the alcohol in check; if you haven’t been a fan of the style in previous vintages, the 09s could have what it takes to bring you around to the pleasures of Beaujolais. Here are a few notable ones, deserving of a spot on your table, Thanksgiving and beyond.

Clos de la Roilette: Alain Coudert produced two stunning wines from his Fleurie vineyard. The regular cuvée has a gorgeous nose followed by delicious balance of fruit, freshness, and intensity that will convince many a Beaujolais skeptic. I bought a magnum of this wine for the biggest impact at my Thanksgiving table. The “cuvée tardive,” visible from across the aisle thanks to the new neck label, is a superb wine to tuck away for a few years in the deepest, darkest spot in your cellar. It’s more dense, structured and closed now than the regular bottling but will doubtlessly evolve into a a real stunner.

Marcel Lapierre: The first bottle of 2009 Lapierre Morgon seemed a bit high in alcohol to me and I wondered if there was a shift at the estate in that direction. But why would they mess with success? The second bottle I had was riper than the 06s and 07s, but still had the alluring aromatics, delicate structure and the lively snap of acidity that has been the house calling card for many a vintage. Although Marcel Lapierre died earlier this year, I’ll save my remaining bottles of this wine to toast him in future years.

Pierre Chermette: Pierre-Marie Chermette always produces reliable wines from the Beaujolais on up to his crus; the 09s are particularly stunning. For immediate pleasure, try the Beaujolais; for later delight, tuck away bottles of his Fleurie, which exhibits a lot of complexity on the nose and the palate, yet is tightly wound today.

Jean-Paul Brun, Terres Dorées: Although not a cru, the Terres d’Orées, “L’Ancien” 2009 Beaujolais is a terrific value, ready to drink either on a weeknight, weekend, Thanksgiving or not.

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4 Responses to “Celebrate Beaujolais with a stunning 2009 cru”

  1. A Beaujolais Cru 2009 I’d add to your list of desirables is the Morgon Vieilles Vignes from Chateau Grange Cochard. I had a magnum the other day (review is here: http://elitistreview.com/2010/11/13/seriously-good-2009-beaujolais/ ) and found it to be distinctly suffused with style.

  2. Cripes, I cannot even spell my own name it seems; too much Beaujolais no doubt. Grange Cochard’s Cote de Py is also worth a look but I don’t think it quite displays the same classy character as the Vieilles Vignes.

  3. Couldn’t agree more. We’re opening the Terres Dorees L’Ancien 2009 and the Roilette Fleurie 2009 tonight as part of our “Just Say No” campaign. Say no to nouveau. 2009 is fine. Vive la resistance.

  4. A few more Beaujolais I’ve drank from 2009:

    Marcel Lapierre’s “Raisins Gaulois” is a cheap, nice beaujolais (though not labeled as such). Nothing mind blowing, but very delicious. I bought a few cases for drinking right away.

    Dominique Piron’s Cote Du Py Morgon is also a lovely, easy drinking Beaujolais. More interesting than the Raisins Gaulois.

    Marcel Lapierre’s Moulin-a-vent I haven’t tried yet, but I’ve been told it needs a year or so before drinking but should be wonderful.

    Maison Louis Tete’s 2007 vintage, moulin-a-vent especially, was wonderful. But the 2009 is dull and skippable. With 10 people at the table, the bottle didn’t get finished, though two opened after it were finished.


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