The other week, I was asked to participate in a TasteLive event with the folks at Discover Beaujolais, and so I asked Ellen to join me. The theme of the evening was Beaujolais Village vs. Cru Beaujolais, but my four bottles of wine got tied up at UPS in the Bronx, and so, instead, Ellen, Oscar, and I met in one of Central Park’s playgrounds to drink some rosé wine. A few days later, my Beaujolais arrived, leaving me to spread the love and the bottles, over the course of a week. BV vs CB? Here’s what we found:
A step up from your standard Beaujolais–Beaujolais-Village, with its 38 communes, is higher in quality, elevation, and latitude, as it reigns from the northern half of the region, where one also finds Beaujolais Cru. Cru, however, has ten appellations, and these are where Gamay really shines. Moulin-a-Vent, or “windmill” produces some of the most concentrated of the ten, yielding wines with the best potential for aging.
The first bottle, Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Village 2009, I opened home alone, and it’s the only bottle I didn’t finish. Purplish ruby in color—there is something artificial about the fruit. Strawberry, cherry…plastic play pieces from the kitchen toys I had as a kid. With more tannins than one might expect for a Village, the finish is rather bitter, seedy if you will, but not in a nostalgic, longing for days of Times Square old, sense.
Bottle two–Louis Jadot Moulin-a-Vent Chateau des Jacques 2007— I uncorked with Farrel, while watching as my aioli failed to emulsify, oil and yolks dripping down the bowl of my food processor, making a terrible mess. That said, this bottle was the best of the bunch. Pale ruby in shade, with aromas of smoky gunflint, this one pops a round cherry in the earth. Silky and a touch herbaceous, there’s a slight acridity that slips beneath the waves of acidity that carry you to the finish.
On the North Shore, Erin and I drank bottle three from the greatest preserver of wine temps–my new Northwest Territory thermos. Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Village 2009. Cherry bubblegum took to the wheel, driving with the windows wide open, this one doesn’t give a damn if she arrives with her hair a knotted mass. So cold, on such a sweltering day, acidity uplifting and so refreshing, who needs facelifts?
Tuesday, I went to Ellen’s for dinner, and after a bottle of rosé on the roof, we uncorked Georges Duboeuf Moulin-a-Vent Domaine de la Tour de Bief 2007. Sensing earth and barnyard funk, in the beginning, I was intrigued. Cherry unsweetened, a whisper of violet, her flavors hover above the surface like a mirage on the floor of a desert. Three-quarters into the palate, suddenly there’s spice—but who wants a cactus when you’ve been wandering for days in search of water, whiskey, or wine—anything that’ll quench your insatiable summer thirst?