Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Exploring Beaujolais: Beaujolais Blanc

Representatives of the Beaujolais region were kind enough to send some samples to me a while ago, most of which were - as expected - red wines made from Gamay grapes.  The 2010 Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorées Beaujolais Blanc Chardonnay caught my eye, as it is a white wine of Beaujolais.

Imported by Louis Dressner Selections,  this is an interesting Beaujolais wine, if owing only to the fact that it is white.  Only one percent of the wine produced in Beaujolais is white, and when it is, it's Chardonnay.  The Jean-Paul Brun domaine is located in southern Beaujolais, north of Lyons.  The wine has a low alcohol content of 12% abv, and it retails for $16.

Probably not a Chardonnay for "Chardonnay lovers" in the California sense of the phrase, the wine possesses strong minerals on the nose, with an underlay of pear, tangerine and tropicals.  The nose is predominantly earthy, as is the palate.  It's not a fruity, frilly Chardonnay at all - nor a buttery, oaky one - but a powerfully earthy and mineral-driven wine.  There's not a boatload of acidity here, which would make me like it a lot more.  It does, however, appeal to me with its sense of terroir in the flavors.  It strikes me as the kind of white wine a red wine lover might really enjoy.  Not a leisurely back porch sipper, this wine requires a bit of thought.  Which is always nice when enjoying wine.

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