Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Georges Duboeuf Moulin-a-Vent Oak Aged 2005

Again keeping things gastronomically simple in preparation for visitors, we decided to order a pizza from Father & Son tonight. It was sufficiently yummy, despite being cut into squares. F&S is about the only pizza place that delivers to Chicago's west side hinterland. I wonder if they'd cut it into normal slices if we asked.

In any event, we opened our first bottle of the new 2005 vintage from Beaujolais. It is perhaps worth pausing for a moment to discuss the wines of Beaujolais for those only familiar with its most (in)famous product Nouveau. Beaujolais is a region in the east of France, south of Burgundy proper, and its considerable production of red wines is devoted to the Gamay grape (also occasionally found in the Loire Valley). Gamay produces crisp, light red wines with refreshing berry characteristics and little tannin. This makes it a lovely choice for "Nouveau" bottlings, where the wine is released weeks after being harvested, pressed, and fermented. These wines, while perfectly acceptable for a celebration, are not especially satisfying. The next step up in quality are labeled "Villages" (pronounced vill-ahzj). These are fine table wines for regular consumption, showing more structure than the nouveaux. At the top are the "cru" wines produced from particular sub-regions within Beaujolais. These wines, from crus named Julienas, Morgon, Fleurie, Brouilly, etc., are some of the best values in the wine world. They usually sell for $10-20, and they can be as satisfying as more expensive bottles from Burgundy.

The wine I chose, from Beaujolais's biggest and best known producer, was, sadly, not up to the fine standards of the cru bottlings. It had a lovely violet red color but the oak aging did little more than make the wine taste like a cheap California pinot noir. Perhaps it needs some time to integrate, but the oak covers the delicate floral and berry notes that are so desperately trying to be noticed. In any event, the 2005s promise to be tasty. Just try different bottles.

1 comment:

Judy said...

Hi Chris:

Do you drink wines from the US? Just curious (it's easier for me to remember their names in the wine store!)...

Wishing you well,