Barbet Fleurie Chateau de Fleurie 2011
About the Region
Known for its bright, fruity, easily drinkable red wines, the Beaujolais region, south of Burgundy proper and just northwest of Lyon, specializes in gamay, though a small amount of pinot noir is also grown. The simplest wines of the region are labeled Beaujolais, with the next tier designated as Beaujolais Villages. Ten select villages, known for the quality and distinctiveness of their wines, are classified as crus, and are permitted to label themselves as Burgundy: Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Chiroubles, Chénas, Fleurie, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, and Régnié. Beaujolais nouveau, or new Beaujolais, bottled and released two months or so after harvest, became something of a cult in the latter 20th century. Though this style of wine is ancient, the term beaujolais nouveau is recent, having been invented by the most famous producer and bottler in the region, Georges Duboeuf. Released on the third Thursday of November every year, the wines — according to many connoisseurs — should be consumed before the end of the year. About a third of all beaujolais production is nouveau. A small amount of white beaujolais is made, principally from chardonnay, but with aligoté, pinot gris, pinot blanc, and melon de bourgogne also permitted.