Spring will soon be here bringing warmer weather. A glass of Cru Beaujolais with a slight chill is perfect with many lighter foods. As mentioned in an earlier article (to read the last notes on 2011 beaujolais, click here), the 2011 Cru Beaujolais are more like 2010 than 2009, yet different. They have lots of fruit and charm and great early appeal. Cru Beaujolais wines continue to be some of the greatest values in the wine world, delivering a Burgundian tasting experience at an affordable price. (To read an article with background information on Cru Beaujolais, click here). Here are notes on seven Outstanding recent arrivals, including one that is new to me and the others which are favorites of mine year after year. These are wines to buy!
2011 Guy Breton Morgon Vielles Vignes.
Guy Breton is one of the original "Gang of Four" producers in Morgon that many years ago began domaine bottling of Cru Beaujolais made from old vines in a traditional style. These wines are consistently lovely and drink beautifully from the beginning, but are also capable of aging for an extended period where they take on a decided Burgundian character. Made from vines that are 80 years old, this 2011 checks in at 12.5 percent alcohol. It is delicious! The wine has a very nice color and a lovely floral perfume with hints of raspberry. It is supple with lovely floral tinged berry fruit and has a bright underlying crispness. This is a Cru Beaujolais of great finesse that lingers on the palate and is so easy to love and very easy to drink — Outstanding. $32. Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif.
2011 Jean-Paul Brun Fleurie Grill Midi Terres Dorees.
This is a limited-production bottling from Jean-Paul Brun who makes Beaujolais in a very traditional style with very little sulphur. The wines are deliciously fresh and fruity. This is the first time I have tasted this cuvée. It may be hard to find, but is worth watching for in future vintages as well. In the world of wine, this once again proves that, if you are adventuresome, there is always something new out there to discover. With a deep color, this Cru Beaujolais has a lovely perfume with floral and plum nuances. It is elegant, supple, and rounded with very pure cherry and plum fruit and underlying floral notes. With a lot of charm, this is a delicious wine to drink now and over the next several years — Outstanding. $24.99. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections LDM Wines, Inc., New York City
2011 Chateau de Raousset Fleurie Grill Midi.
With a very nice color, this Fleurie has a gorgeous floral perfume with hints of raspberry and cranberry. Very pure and bright the wine has lots of fruit and is elegant and flavorful with a lovely crispness on the finish. This is a very attractive Cru Beaujolais — Outstanding. $19.95. Shipped by Shipped by Jean-Marie De Champs Beaune, FR & Imported by The Wine House Limited, San Francisco
— John Tilson, The Underground Wine Letter