Just forget Beaujolais Noveau, as the Beaujolais wine area has much more to offer than short-lived mode flip wines, which aren't at all representative of the quality of Beaujolais.
Beaujolais is a wine area south of Burgundy, and its northern neighbor is Macon. Its AOC is divided into Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages, and ten Beaujolais Crus. Here, red wines are made from Gamay grape variety, an early ripening one. It produces a big yield when young and then significantly decreases when it reaches age around 50 years old.
Thanks to massive investments and talented and focused winemakers, the quality of Beaujolais Crus has considerably risen in recent years. Several winemakers make wines as good as the village wines from Cote de Beaune/Cote de Nuits/Vosne Romanée.
While posting tasting notes in August 2021 on a Bordeaux wine blog, one of its members strongly encouraged me to try something different than Bordeaux, and by that, he meant Chateau Thivin in Odenas, Cote de Brouilly. This producer is a specialist in Cote de Brouilly wines and has produced these since the 19th century. Their website - https://www.chateau-thivin.com/en/
I tasted two wines from the 2018 vintage beginning in August 2021. Maybe Gamay is not that famous grape variety like Pinot Noir, but here at Chateau Thivin, it truly shines! It was quite a discovery and eye-opener, and proof that Beaujolais can offer wine lovers wines of high quality.
Some terrific Beaujolais wines were tasted in August 2021!
Cote de Brouilly Les Griottes de Brulhie 2018
This wine comes from a 5 ha vineyard in the middle of the hill of Brouilly. Manual harvest, vinified partly in whole bunches and aging in large oak foudres for 7-9 months. Griottes mean morello cherries, and it's no surprise their flavor/aroma is much recognizable in the wine. Delicate nose of morello and black cherries, dried herbs, wild strawberries, and redcurrants. Mineral on the palate with discreet acidity, velvety and delicate taste. Tannin keeps itself in the background allowing the wine to express its freshness and fruitness. Fine in length with a silky finish. My first encounter with this producer, and I'm thrilled to have tasted this expressive and well-made wine! 91-92p.
Cote de Brouilly Godefroy 2018
This wine comes from a single plot (28.3 ha) of 80-100 years old vines growing on the lower part of Brouilly slopes. Manual harvest, vinified partly in whole bunches and aging in large oak foudres for 7-9 months. I tasted this wine along Les Griottes de Brulhie, which had different flavors/aromas than LGdB. Fatter and with more intensity and concentration. The nose was full of black cherries and had a rose bush aroma. It was mineral on the palate with wild cherries, freshness, vibrancy, and bright acidity. Tannin was almost unnoticeable. It's a complex wine with flowing midpalate and great length. Sublimely lingering finish. Terrific and impressive stuff. 93+p.
Cote de Brouilly "La Chapelle" 2019
This cuvée comes from the vineyard right on the top of Brouilly mountain. Superb wine, pure and polished, wild strawberries but no cherries, violets, crushed stones, and a bit of minerality. Potent and with nuanced complexity. It kept well until the next day and revealed more acidity. Lovely effort. 92p.
More excellent Beaujolais wines tasted during the summer of 2022!
Following the excellent experience with Chateau Thivin wines in Cote de Brouilly, I turned my attention to Morgon wines from brilliant winemakers like Jean Foillard and Jean-Marc Burgaud, Guy Breton, Marcel Lapierre, Louis Claude Desvignes, and Mee Godard. I also purchased their Morgon Cote de Puy and the single vineyard/luxury bottlings, mainly in vintage 2019. I did taste a basic Morgon 2019 from Jean Foillard, which was terrific. I was also encouraged to try wines from Coudert's Clos de Roilette from Fleurie.
In June 2022, I did a Morgon and Fleurie tasting of the single vineyard wines + plus luxury cuvees, 13 wines in all, including Thivin's Cuvee Zaccharie from Cotes de Brouilly as a kind of reference wine. Mostly 2019 vintage and some 2018. Almost all wines were a wonderful experience.
Jean-Marc Burgaud - has a diploma in enology and wine growing and began making wines in 1989. Today there is 19 ha of vines, and Morgon counts for 13 ha. He practices full carbonic fermentation and whole cluster vinification, including stems. No sulfur is added during the vinification, but a little is added to the wine before the bottling. His luxury cuvees, Javernieres and James, are an incredible value for money. Powerful with dense dark fruit, concentrated, vibrant, and sophisticated with perfect acidity and complexity. 30 Euros per/bottle!! 96p rating for both.
Guy Breton - Morgon P’tit Max 2019. It comes from 1 hectare of 100+-year-old vines in the lieu-dit of Les Charmes in Cote de Puy. The wine is aged for ten months in used barrels from no other than Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and then bottled unfined and unfiltered. Elegant and delicate, yet concentrated, cherries and violets. Impressive. 93-94p.
Alain Coudert - Produces powerful Fleuries from the Clos de La Roilette vineyard bordering the Moulin-a-Vent district. Because of this location, his Fleuries tend to be more potent and concentrated than other producers' wines from this commune. He makes three cuvees, standard Fleurie, Fleurie Vendange Tardive, and Fleurie Griffe de Marquis. I tasted the latter in two vintages: Eighty years old vines and one year of aging in Burgundy oak barrels. Both 2018 and 2019 were sensual, mineral, and highly seductive. Milk chocolate and mashed wild cherries. Delicacies! Incredible value for the money! 95p rating for both wines.
Jean Foillard - a cult producer in Beaujolais, making wines with great elegance, finesse and richness. His Fleuries are so delicious and seductive. Wow. 2018 - 92+p, 2019 - 93+p. Morgon Corcelette 2018 had a refined and elegant nose of spicy cherries and strawberries, bright acidity, splendid structure, vibrant, stony, and mineral on the palate, and long finish. Excellent stuff. Worth cellaring for at least ten years. 94p. His Morgon Corcelette 2019 offered a more refined touch, elegance, depth, midpalate, and length than in 2018. Gorgeous effort! Please keep it for at least ten years. 94+p.
Mee Godard -The owner, Mee Godard, is from South Korea, and she settled in Beaujolais in 2013. She's a very talented winemaker who produces deep, concentrated, and intense wines for long-term keeping.
Her basic Morgon Cote de Puy wines in 2018 and 2019 vintages represented excellent value for money when tasted in April 2022. Juicy, packed with fruit, intense and complex. 94p for both wines.
2019 Morgon Passerelle 577 is the blend of the best cuvees selected from Cote du Puy. Powerful stuff, yellow plums (mirabelles) and morello cherries on the nose, crushed rocks, spicy, strong structure, and backbone, long finish. Superb stuff to be cellared for 8-10 years. 95+p.
Marcel Lapierre - Morgon Cuvee MMXIX. It's produced from a small selection of parcels at Cote du Puy mountain, with no use of sulfur during vinification. Fabulously refined on the nose and palate. Cherries wrapped in milk chocolate, minerality and bright acidity, complex, flowing midpalate, great structure, and long velvety finish. The result is a stunningly beautiful wine that surely will benefit from further cellaring. 96+p.
Louis Claude Desvignes - this domain has its headquarters in the village of Morgon. Compared to top producers here, the style is a lighter and more refined version of Beaujolais. The wines are aged in concrete vats, and they don't see oak of any kind.
Morgon Javernieres (60 years old vines) was very cherry and floral (peony), seductive and elegant. However, the aftertaste was a little short, and the wine, on the whole, was a bit light-footed and lacked a bit of complexity. I think a wine with such good quality grapes needs to be aged in oak barrels, and otherwise, it's a missed opportunity to make something extraordinary. 91p.
Thivin - a cult producer in Odenas, Cote de Brouilly. Zaccharie bottling is the property's flagship and comes from the best plots in the vineyards of La Chapelle and Godefroy, situated at the mountain of Cote de Brouilly. Fifty years old vines, manual harvest, vinified partly with whole bunches, nine months in French oak. It tasted like Burgundy wine of excellent quality, coming from Chambolle Musigny or Nuits St. Georges or Vosne Romanée. Coffee beans, expresso, and cherries are utterly expressive, complex, vibrant, luscious, and creamy. Long-lasting finish. Sheer beauty. Awesome stuff! 96-97p.
Tasting dinner with Domaine Perrot Minot wines, Bistro Boheme, Copenhagen, 29th January 2020
It was a great display of wines from a very established producer in Morey-Saint-Denis, Domaine Perrot-Minot, at the end of January 2020. Løgismose Vin arranged the tasting at a cozy restaurant Bistro Boheme which served delicious food. Christophe Perrot-Minot and his wife came to Copenhagen in January 2020 with a range of wines to taste during wine dinner.
Thilde Maarbjerg, the chef sommelier at Løgismose and, before that, in the same function at restaurant Kong Hans, was present at the tasting and so kind and generous to add two wines to taste to already announced six wines for the tasting. It was 2016 Morey-St. Denis La Rue de Vergy and 2016 Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix.
Domaine Perrot-Minot is 100% organic, owns 12.5 ha in all, vinify with up to 60% whole clusters, and uses a maximum of 20% new oak for his wines. He practices zero fining and zero filtration in his wines. The style is elegance, finesse, pure expression of Pinot Noir, great style, intensity, and sophisticated touch. You can't feel the tannin – his wines are so perfectly balanced! The wines are sensual!
Wines from Perrot-Minot aren't cheap – you pay well and more for very high quality.
We started with two vintages of Morey-Saint-Denis, La Rue de Vergy, in 2015 and 2016. It's a 1.5 ha big stony vineyard with rocks on the top of a famous Grand Cru vineyard, Clos de Tart. It brings minerality, elegance, and finesse to the wines.
2015 - mineral, ripe raspberries, subtle, elegant, and stylish. A dense structure on the palate and a meaty finish. Very attractive and delicious. 93p.
2016 – late harvest, 50% of production lost due to frost. Very similar to 2015, but perhaps with a bit more complexity, depth, and intensity. Subtle. 93+p.
Then we tasted two wines from Vosne Romanée, both in vintage 2016.
Vosne Romanée Vieilles Vignes – more clay, resulting in more concentration, 0.9 ha including two parcels, 45 years old vines. Black cherry fruit creamy has excellent acidity and is stylish, deep, and long. Impressive. 93+p.
Vosne Romanée Les Champs Perdrix – more limestones here, 0.7 ha on the top of La Romanée and La Tache. Very stylish and sophisticated wine, with extraordinary purity, complexity, decadently fruity, and long finish. 94p.
The next flight included the following wines:
2014 Chambolle Musigny 1. Cru Les Fuées – vineyard close to Bonnes Mares, vines planted in 1945, only 0.23 ha. Creamy and potent stuff, great complexity, purity of fruit, sophisticated and long and persistent finish. Sublime wine. 94+p.
2014 Nuits St. Georges 1. Cru La Richemone Vignes Centenaires (Ultra) – 0.65 ha with vines originating from 1902. Very intense and creamy on the palate and utterly aromatic on the nose, with pure spicy cherry and raspberry fruit, impressive depth, complexity, and sophisticated touch. Stunning effort. 95+p.
Then to round the tasting up, we were treated to the following wines:
2012 Griotte Chambertin – situated close to another Grand Cru vineyard, Clos de Beze, 60 years old vines, and grapes obtain full ripeness quite early due to the vineyard facing south and getting a lot of sun. Immensely expressive wine with remarkable complexity and depth, sublime and striking elegance and finesse. 96p.
2007 Chambertin Clos de Beze – Christophe Perrot-Minot doesn't own this vineyard. He buys grapes from his very good friend Pierre Damoy, who owns 5 ha of different Grand Cru vineyards in Chambertin. Christophe Perrot Minot vinifies the purchased grapes in his way. An immense, big concentration of dark fruit, but if you expect a hammer blow, you will be disappointed. You get creamy, sophisticated, and sublime stuff with stunning elegance and finesse. Utterly expressive wine! 96+p.
In January 2020, Danish merchant Philipson Wine arranged a similar Burgundy tasting in 2018 (read below), with 2016 in red and 2017 in white. More than 60 wines in all.
I tasted many reds but only a few whites as I ran short of time.
To many Burgundy experts, Henri Boillot is one of the best white wine producers in the area.
2017 Puligny Montrachet 1. Cru Clos de la Mouchere (Monopole) - a very mineral wine with great freshness, acidity, and complexity. Intense, concentrated, refined, and impressive in length. Made from 50+ years old vines. Better than the 2016 version of it. Simply brilliant! 96p.
2017 Corton Charlemagne is an imposing and sophisticated wine with excellent acidity, complexity, and structure. Multi-layered and rich in nuances. Long, long finish. 96+p.
Famous domain in Volnay with its clone of Pinot Noir.
2016 Volnay Champans 1. This wine is somewhat behind the 2015 version and not as exuberantly fruity and attractive. However, it's still a lovely wine with pure fruit expression, pleasing complexity, and balance. 92p.
Domaine Frederic Esmonin:
A family-owned estate based in Gevrey Chambertin. They started producing estate-bottled wines in 1987. Prices are very consumer-friendly here.
2016 Pernand-Vergelesses Les Boutieres – fruity and aromatic, fine structure and nice finish. Very good quality for the money. 89p.
2016 Cote-de-Nuits Villages - more intensity here than in PVLB, pleasant cherry aroma, smooth and inviting, round on the palate, silky tannin, and pretty lovely fruity finish. 90p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes – an aromatic and tasty mix of raspberries and cherries, a potent vine with splendid complexity, depth, and length. 91p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin 1. Cru Estournelles St.Jacques - you feel and taste the elegance and finesse combined with delicate balance, purity, structure, and style. To be kept for several years. 92p.
2016 Charmes Chambertin – potent and with great complexity and length, intense fruit, and long caressing finish. To be kept for at least 10+ years. 94p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin – charming and tasty wine, round and attractive. On the light side. 87p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin 1. Cru Les Cherbaudes - more intensity and concentration here than in Village wine. More complex, more profound, and long finish. 88-89p.
Domaine Henri Felletig:
Grapes come from many parcels situated in Cotes de Nuits.
2016 Bourgogne Rouge - Ok, light, charming, elegant, and tasty wine. 86p.
2016 Chambolle Musigny Vieilles Vignes - slightly better on the nose and palate than 2016 Bourgogne Rouge, but still a bit light for my taste and with a short finish. 87p.
2016 Chambolle Musigny Clos Village – similar to CM VV, maybe slightly longer on the finish. 87p.
Based in Chambolle Musigny.
2016 Bourgogne Rouge – round, pleasant, tasty wine to be drunk rather quickly. 86p.
2016 Chambolle Musigny – a bit more of everything here than in Bourgogne Rouge, but still slightly four-square wine, in my honest opinion. Very different from an excellent 2015 vintage of the exact wine. 87-88p.
This estate has existed for more than 150 years and is close to Vosne Romanée village, where some of the best Burgundy wines are made. Impressive range of wines.
2016 Bourgogne Rouge Pinot Fin – pure and forward ripe cherry fruit, very nicely composed. Quite nice wine with strong consumer appeal. 88p.
2016 Nuits St.Georges - more elegance and better structure here, pure style, elegant and well-knitted, maybe a bit more spicy and aromatic wine here. 91p.
2016 Vosne Romanee - strong cherry perfume, refined with splendid complexity, seductive with silky tannin, outstanding balance, and depth. 92p.
2016 Echezeaux – excellent aromatic intensity of cherries and raspberries, excellent complexity and balance, thick texture, fat and creamy. Great prospects. 94-95p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes – very expressive and aromatic wine, tasty, deep, and creamy on the palate with a smooth finish. Clever winemaking here. 92p.
Domaine de La Vougeraie:
2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Terres de Famille – aromatic, round and attractive, on the light side, pleasant, and with a soft fruity aftertaste. For early drinking. 87p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin – more intensity and structure here compared to Bourgogne PN, same aromatic picture, tasty, and with a good bite. Fruity finish. 88p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin 1. Cru Bel Air Eco – very similar to village wine. Slightly more concentrated and with a long finish. 88-89p.
2016 Clos de Vougeot Eco – I have expected more from this Grand Cru. This wine has elegance, finesse, and nice complexity. It tasted a bit light and uninspired for the quality, but maybe this is an awkward stage. We hope it'll improve with time. 91+?p
Domaine Perrot Minot:
Based in Morey St.Denis and run by Christophe Perrot-Minot since 1993. Old vines here - 40-100 years old, max. 20% new oak, careful vinification, no fining, and no filtration. Creamy and refined wines with great depth and intensity impress a lot.
2016 Morey St. Denis La Rue de Vergy - late harvest, 50% of production lost due to frost. Very similar to 2015, but perhaps with a bit more complexity, depth and intensity. Subtle. 93+p.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin – fabulous stuff, pure expression of Pinot Noir, so stylish and complex, great length and depth. 94p.
2016 Charmes Chambertin is a huge, deep, utterly concentrated wine with stunning purity and complexity, finished with fat fruit and a very classy touch of oak. Awesome stuff. 97p.
Danish merchant, Philipson Wine, arranged this Burgundy Prestige tasting at the end of November 2018
I recently went to a tasting of 60 Burgundy wines, red and white wines, and found myself enjoying these. A large number of excellent wines and exactly my taste! I haven't tasted wines from the producers listed below, so it was a true thrill. 2015 vintage in red and 2016 in white. Red 2015 is a very ripe, exuberantly fruity, and delicious vintage.
I'm not a newbie to Burgundy as I have tasted a reasonable amount of these through all these 34 years my wine writer work has lasted until now (2018). However, I haven't visited this famous wine-producing area yet, but I hope to do it in 2019 or 2020.
To many Burgundy experts, Henri Boillot is one of the best white wine producers in the area. Reds are steadily improving as Henri Boillot's son, Guillaume, focuses on improving the quality.
2015 Volnay Les Chevrets 1. Cru - fresh, energetic, aromatic nose of cherries and red fruit, elegant with finesse, delicate complexity, discrete oak, and grained tannin. Sublime wine. 92p.
2016 Bourgogne Chardonnay - freshness, charming, tropical fruit, tasty. Enjoyable. 88p.
2016 Meursault - so typical for Chardonnay grape aroma of melted butter, clean and intense, fine acidity and nerve. Complex with great distinction and length. Not bad at all. 92p.
2016 Puligny Montrachet Villages - excellent wine with fine acidity and energy, aromatic and well-knitted palate. Good intensity and length, 92p.
2016 Puligny Montrachet 1. Cru Clos de la Mouchere (Monopole) - a very mineral wine with great freshness, acidity, and complexity. Intense, concentrated, refined, and impressive in length. Made from 50+ years old vines. Simply brilliant! 95+p.
Domaine Y. Clerget:
Little family estate in Volnay is run today by the 28th generation of the Clerget family (since 1268). 2015 Volnay showed great intensity, strong backbone, fine depth, and refined, elegant style. A gentle dose of oak here just works well together with ripe fruit. Stylish wine. 92p.
Famous domain in Volnay with its clone of Pinot Noir planted.
2015 Volnay Champans 1. Cru is a vigorous, creamy ripe fruit with great intensity and concentration, delicate, complex, and refined balance. Long meaty finish. Excellent wine. 94p.
Domaine Frederic Esmonin:
A family-owned estate based in Gevrey Chambertin and started first to produce domain bottled wines in 1987. Before that, all production was sold to Jadot and Leroy. I was impressed by the elegance and finesse, underlying intensity, and power of tasted wines. Prices are very consumer-friendly.
2015 Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes - Elegant wine, silky fruit, and tannin, delicate balance, already quite accessible and pleasant to drink. Catchy elegance here. I will keep it for several years. 91p.
2015 Gevrey Chambertin 1. Cru Les Champonnets - more intensity and acidity here, very cherry, smooth and inviting, round, silky tannin, and pretty fine fruity finish. 91-92p.
2015 Gevrey Chambertin 1. Cru Estournelles St.Jacques - even more of everything than in Les Champonnets. You feel and taste the elegance and finesse combined with virile and energetic cherry fruit. I will keep great for the next 10+ years. 92-93p.
2015 Ruchottes Chambertin - thick and intense cherry nose, big ripe tannin greatly cooperating with dense and ripe fruit. Great depth, complexity, and length. Very long and persistent cherry finish with some touch of almonds. Just a riveting performance. Long, long life. 95p.
2015 Gevrey Chambertin - lovely fruity nose of ripe cherries and strawberries, charming, but a bit four-square and with a short aftertaste. On the light side. 87p.
2015 Gevrey Chambertin 1. Cru Les Cherbaudes - significantly more intensity and concentration here. More complex, with more depth and length. 89-90p.
Domaine Henri Felletig:
Wines are made from the estate's many parcels in Cotes de Nuits.
2015 Bourgogne Rouge - Ok wine, light, charming and tasty. 85p.
2015 Chambolle Musigny Vieilles Vignes - far better on the nose and palate than 2015 Bourgogne Rouge, still a bit light for my taste and with a bit short finish. 88p.
2015 Chambolle Musigny 1. Cru Les Carrieres - very similar to Vieilles Vignes, but here you get much more intensity, complexity, and length. Very stylish wine. 91p.
Based in Chambolle Musigny. Old vines.
2015 Chambolle Musigny - nice ripe cherry flavors on the nose and palate, nice complexity. Very fruit-driven and tasty. Smooth and well-balanced. Splendid effort. 92p.
This domain has existed for more than 150 years and is based close to Vosne Romanée village, where some of the best Burgundy wines are made. Impressive range of wines.
2015 Bourgogne Rouge Pinot Fin - lovely dark cherry nose, attractive, well-polished palate with tasty fruit. Quite nice wine with strong consumer appeal. 89p.
2015 Chambolle Musigny - almost identical to Hudelot Baillets Chambolle Musigny, but I have found slightly more complexity and depth here. A gentle dose of oak works just fine with ripe fruit. Very stylish wine. 92p.
2015 Nuits St.Georges - same story here as in Chambolle Musigny, maybe a bit more spicy and aromatic wine here. 92+p.
2015 Vosne Romanee has a strong cherry perfume, refined and splendid complexity, seductive, silky tannin, and great balance and depth. This wine catches your attention immediately. 93p.
2015 Latricieres Chambertin - thick texture, fat and creamy, too young to enjoy now because of strong tannin and minerality. It needs time to soften. 94-95p.
Domaine Perrot Minot:
Based in Morey St.Denis and run by Christophe Perrot-Minot since 1993. Old vines here - 40-100 years old, a mix of modern touch and careful vinification. Creamy and refined wines with great depth and intensity impressed me greatly. You pay here well for excellent quality.
2015 Bourgogne Rouge Vieilles Vignes - fruity, smooth, silky, delicious, accessible, and charming. Drinks well. 89p.
2015 Morey St. Denis La Rue de Vergy - mineral, ripe raspberries, quite elegant and stylish. A dense structure on the palate and a meaty finish. Just splendid. 93p.
2015 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes - potent and strong, splendid acidity and complexity. Impressive cherry and raspberry nose and palate, creamy fruit, and well-trimmed tannin. Splendid depth and length. Textbook Burgundy. 93+p.
2015 Gevrey Chambertin - as impressive as C-M VV. Same intensity and creaminess combined with silky tannin, perfectly ripe fruit, and great length. A winner. 94p.
2015 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru - a big scaled, deep, utterly concentrated wine, masculine, excellent purity, and complexity, finishes with a gentle kiss of oak and fat fruit. Awesome stuff. 96p.