Effectively, right here, we’re once more within the third week of November. It’s been chilly, damp and, in some locations, there was snow and, in others, far an excessive amount of rain.
Sure, it’s time for the compelled carnival that’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day on Thursday 21 November – the annual six-week rush to get the first bottles of simply-picked and swiftly pressed Gamay grapes from Beaujolais to those shores. Whereas that is, fortunately, very a lot much less of a severe advertising and marketing occasion than it was just a few years in the past, there are nonetheless corners of those isles the place it stays oddly familiar.
It is usually, due to this fact, the proper excuse for me to rejoice as soon as once more the real gems of the Beaujolais area, the fairly fantastic wines of the Beaujolais crus: the 10 accredited villages, every with their very own designated appellations and which produce wines of excellent particular person attraction, every one having its personal character and qualities, however all from the identical Gamay grape. Blends are a no-no right here.
All have juicy, supple and mineral natures that make them immediately enjoyable and really meals pleasant, with flavors starting from darkish and pink cherries, violets and chocolate within the lighter, typically chillable, wines to blackberries, plums and earthy, brambly flavours within the weightier wines, all extra substantial and complicated than the “Ribena” that’s most Beaujolais Nouveau, manufacturing of which is banned within the cru-accredited vineyards.
And plenty of winemakers, acutely aware that the doubtful “quick wine” picture of BN has had an extended-time period affect customers, are actively exploring new kinds that embody minimal intervention, pure yeasts, natural or close to-natural manufacturing to make sure distinctive qualities.
So firstly to Brouilly, which is the biggest and most southerly of the appellations. Though the wines are typically mostly lighter and juicier, some – and this selection is, without doubt, one of the joys of Beaujolais Villages – may be extra meatier, such because the distinctly Burgundian Chateau de Pierreux Reserve 2017 Brouilly, made with some oak fermentation from grapes grown without pesticides; dark, rich, chewy, succulent blackcurrant and blackberry flavors and quickly significant. Lighter roast meats, poultry, and arduous cheeses. And an outstanding Christmas turkey wine, in case you are pondering forward.