WineRoute has brought in a bunch Georges Dubeouf's 2009 Flower Label bottlings, which means we finally have a chance to taste several Beaujolais Crus side by side. Seeing as 2009 is a stellar vintage in Beaujolais, this is even better. Mind you, the way Beaujolais and Gamay are structured, even 2009 doesn't really fit in with the way most wine geeks think of the term Vintage Of The Century: these are not wines to lay down for ages and ages, instead, any depth and profundity on their part lies in the focus and purity of the fruit. They are, to me, haiku versions of Burgundy.
These are all well priced at 75 NIS.
This wine makes this nascent Beaujolais fan as happy as a monkey in a peanut machine.
Mogon, Moulin-A-Vent, Fleurie, Brouilly - these are the big names In Beaujolais. Yet local legend has it that Julienas was the first Beaujolais village to be planted with vine, and Johnson and Robinson's World Atlas Of Wine claims the overall standard of the Cru to be the highest in Beaujolais. This specimen has very appealing freshness, zesty raspberry fruit, a pleasantly saline bite and a lightly pungent overlay of minerals, all masking its 13.5% ABV (I had guessed it at a degree lower before I read the label). Granted that I approached these wines as ones meant for early drinking in the first place, the balance here makes this so precociously vibrant right now, I would play it safe and drink whenever the mood and the weather call, all over the next two years - I guess it would last beyond as well, I just don't see any greater potential depth on the upside. (June 4, 2011)
The fruit here is riper and warmer, a trifle more candied and with a greater affinity with Pinot. While not in the least a flabby wine, it is a round wine that lacks the Julienas' vibrant focus; on the other hand, it's more tannic, so it probably has more potential. The nose is somewhat more complex as well, cut from the same cloth as the Julienas but with some herbs and flowers tossed in. There's enough mouthwatering salinity here to whet my appetite for more, pun intended. (June 6, 2011)
Looks, smells and tastes like beet juice. Well, beet juice filtered through a lens of musky, pungent minerals. More of a Gamay than the Fleurie at this time, this isn't any more refined than the other two (in fact, the Julienas is currently the most elegant of the lot), but the palate has the best grip and the most interesting texture. Like the Fleurie, there is something a little murky about the flavor profile and feels like a broth that needs time to settle down and clear. (June 19, 2011)
I think that, in a way, these wine caught me in a weird mind-trap. Seeing as how I'd started raving on about Beajoulais Crus over the last year or two, I was almost cornered into liking them before the first sip. Because I really would like to give the first importer to bring a whole line-up of Beajoulais Crus all the kudos in the world. And I like these wines and will buy more. Having said that, they're very good but not quite that good - they don't quite have the pizzazz of Lapierre and Thevenet, whose wines more convincingly break the popular conception of Beajoulias as simple quaffers and might even stop the non-believers in their tracks.
But WineRoute did very, very well in bringing this juice. And hey, they've also started bringing in some Muscadet, too!