Beaujolais is back!
Beaujolais is back!
With the legendary 2018 vintage
Beaujolais and Gamay are back at the vinous high table. As Jancis Robinson writes, ‘things are really looking up in the kingdom of Gamay.’ With a renewed focus on quality, sustainability and authenticity from established legends and a new generation of passionate vignerons, Beaujolais is blooming! After a string of outstanding vintages, 2018 is being hailed as legendary. Across the region, the 2018s seem richer than the wines of 2016, offering the power of 2015 with more freshness and elegance than the 2017s.
2018 Gamay Noirs
Situated just south of Burgundy, Beaujolais’ Gamay makes a light-bodied red just like its parent grape, Pinot Noir. They’re loved for their delicate fruit, floral aromas and earthiness and are excellent food companions. With its savoury, peppery notes, Gamay can be Syrah-like at times and thus appeals to a broad audience. We love Gamay for this versatility!
Cru Beaujolais – the darling of wine geeks, critics and sommeliers alike – hails from one of the region’s 10 crus. It is a more serious and sophisticated iteration of the Gamay grape. Whilst made to age, it’s also extremely approachable and immediately pleasurable – pure-fruited, concentrated, energetic and seamless.
'There has never been a better time to explore this region’s delicious, approachable wines.' – Josh Raynolds, Vinous
Brouilly, the southern-most cru, is home to Château Thivin – a historic, 6th generation estate known for ‘classical, age-worthy cru Beaujolais’, as per Wine Advocate. Their 2018 Brouilly Reverdon is fresh-fruited, foresty and vibrant and sits on Wine Spectator’s 2020 Top 100 list. Up the slope you’ll find their Côte de Brouilly Les Griottes de Brulhié. The 2018 is full-bodied and smoky with more pronounced tannins and ageing potential.
Another Brouilly local is Château de la Chaize. Founded in 1667, all 90 hectares are farmed organically. Their 2018 Brouilly Les Deux Amis epitomises the appellation – it is perfumed with notes of fruit pastels and lifted sour cherries with a silky finish.
To the north lies Chiroubles – the highest altitude cru in Beaujolais. La Grosse Pierre, established in 1960, farms organically and focuses on single-vineyard expressions, low SO2 and uses mostly whole bunch. Their 2018 Chiroubles La Grosse Pierre is a juicy, black-berried, black-peppered wine, showing the generous side of Beaujolais.
The Fleurie cru produces the region’s most feminine and floral wines. Case in point is the very pretty and organic Les Marrans 2018 Fleurie which is deliciously red-fruited and floral with a light stoniness on the back palate.