Showing posts with label Fleurie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fleurie. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cru Beajolais: Fleurie

Domaine de la Madone is in the Beaujolais cru called Fleurie, a pastoral area - aren’t they all? - in France’s Gamay grape region. It is squeezed in between Moulin-à-vent and Morgon.

The name of the domaine comes from a little chapel on the highest hill in Fleurie. The vineyards are composed of granitic earth on the region’s hillsides, and the vines are between 70 and 100 years old.

The wine is aged for a year in oak, then another six months in vats. Alcohol hits 13% abv and the retail price is around $20.

Nice and dark, the Fleurie looks like the serious wine that it is. Aromas of violet's and strawberries are joined by pepper and cardamom. The palate offers a zesty acidity and a fruity flavor profile, with enough minerality to justify that dark color. It has a hint of bitterness on the finish, probably due to the granite in the soil. The wine is perfect for meat dishes, tomato sauces or grilled vegetables.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beaujolais Nouveau

Holiday time always makes me turn a little more toward Beaujolais. If you follow such things, you get that little pre-Thanksgiving kick of the Beaujolais Nouveau release. It happens on the third Thursday of November, giving a one-week window before tastes move on to other delights.

The wine ends up on millions of Thanksgiving tables each year in the U.S., not to mention being the drink of choice in French cafés toward the end of each year.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a young wine, made from Gamay grapes and meant to be consumed while young. To be blunt, it’s not getting any better in the bottle.  BN is usually a dull but drinkable wine that I often find quite grapey, but others seem to revel in its simplicity. Personally, I don’t see the need to rush the wine out the door immediately after harvest, but I understand. It started as a marketing ploy, and lives on as that today.

The better choices are the wines from the crus of Beaujolais, the ten villages that all offer their own separate and distinct terroirs. They don’t cost much more than BN, but the difference is like night and day. There was a Brandlive online tasting event recently which featured Franck Duboeuf and Steve Kreps Sr. of Quintessential Wines, the exclusive US importer of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Charles Communications founder Kimberly Charles moderated.

@WineHarlots summed up the difference between BN and cru Beaujolais nicely during the Twitter tasting: "Beaujolais Nouveau for a day. Cru Beaujolais for a lifetime."

The wines tasted will be written up here in future posts. The record of the live stream may still be here, if you’d like to watch and listen.

2016 Beaujolais Nouveau (SRP $11.99)
2015 Beaujolais-Villages (SRP $12.99)
2015 Domaine La Madone Fleurie (SRP $19.99)
2015 Morgon Jean-Ernest Descombes (SRP $21.99)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Beaujolais Fleurie Clos de la Roilette

This taste of the Beaujolais region concerns a wine by Alain Coudert, Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie 2010.  The label indicates it's a red Beaujolais wine - 99% of the wine from Beaujolais is red, produced from the Gamay grape.

Fleurie wines are often indicated as having a fruity and floral bouquet.  That would be underselling the case, here, as we will find in a bit.

Louis Dressner Selections imports this wine, and their website describes the evolution of Clos de la Roilette:

"In the '20s, when the Fleurie appellation was first created, the former landowner was infuriated with losing the Moulin-à-Vent appellation under which the clos had previously been classified.  He created a label, using a photograph of his racehorse Roilette, and used the name Clos de la Roilette, without mentioning Fleurie.  The owner vowed not to sell a drop of his wine on the French market and the production went to Switzerland, Germany and England.

"By the mid-1960s, the owner’s heirs had lost interest in the clos and a large portion of the land had gone wild and untended.  In 1967, Fernand Coudert bought this poorly maintained estate, and replanted the vineyards.  His son Alain joined him in 1984, and has been the winemaker since."

The racehorse remains on the label to this day, although the Couderts apparently have no ill will at this point about the appellation.  The wine is labeled as Fleurie.

This is a complex Beaujolais Cru which retails for $20 and is a little stronger than a typical Beaujolais at 13% abv.  The average age of the Coudert's vines are 25-33 years and I am told it should age well for 5-10 years.

An initial cork sniff had me thinking I'd opened a bottle of sherry by mistake.  There's a huge nuttiness and something akin to caramel on the cork.  Once in the glass, the nose of the medium dark wine displays leathery cherry fruit, allspice and a hint of something burnt.

The palate is equally serious.  A very dark expression of cherries and roast come forward right away, and an almost muddy taste plays with the fruit as it shows black cherry, then blackberry, then a campfire flavor.  There is a fantastic acidity and a lingering tartness which begs for another sip to be taken.

In my sedentary travel through the Beaujolais crus, this is the darkest and most impressive wine I have tasted.