I'd been reading about Beaujolais and my previous experiences with the Lapierre Morgon gave a clear indication that they would prove a very enjoyable style of wine. So I decided to experiment.
George Descombes, Brouilly, 2008
The color is certainly no Pinot look-alike - it's semi transparent, for sure, but too purple in hue to be a Bourgogne - but other than that, the resemblance is striking. Bright, clear red fruit and a hint of minerals on the nose, that becomes more than a hint in time. Much more. A very savory, mid-weight frame, with a a good dose of acidity and a crunchy, saline finish. Picks up weight and aromatic presence as it goes along and actually seems to grow younger in the glass. Quite appealing, if not very complex, and fulfilled my expectations to a tee. (Nov. 18, 2010)
15 euros or so.
George Descombes, Brouilly, Vieilles Vignes, 2007
The nose is very red, and perfumed, almost intoxicatingly so, with strands of flowers and earth. The palate is fresh, crisp and lean, ending in my kind of saline finish. The first pours are very austere - although even then, I sense mildly spicy flavors aching to emerge - but after a couple of hours, like other wines of the school of light-middleweight Bourgogne, it gains weight and length and lives up to the promise of the nose. I mean, this saline finish that I liked even when this wine was dormant? It's even better when it finally peaks, really sexy and appetizing. And the flavors really start exploding as the structure gains focus and grip while loseing its austere trappings. Finally, the nose gains greater definition and pungent minerality a la Cote de Beaune. Wow, this wine deserves the time it needs to open up! (Nov. 25, 2010)
George Descombes, Morgon, Vieilles Vignes, 2007
Since Morgon should be the longest-living of the Beaujolais Crus, I decided to open this wine an hour earlier than I did the Brouilly V.V. and be patient. Good idea, as the contents of the glass I used to lower the shoulders proved flat and short. The aromatics kick in after three hours: red cherries with a touch of black ones as well, lifted by a spicy, pungent kick. Earthy and meaty in turns. The palate however, never soars the way the V.V. Brouilly did - it picks up length but never quite gains the same focus or sense of bravado. Thus, it's good, but a relative disappointment as the Brouilly had set a very high bar. (Nov. 27, 2010)
Both Vieilles Vignes cost 20 euros plus.
All, in all, a set of wines I enjoyed to various degrees. The Brouilly V.V. was really great but I enjoyed all three and they were great values. Here's hoping someone starts importing the stuff to Israel!