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Beyond Beaujolais Nouveau
May 06, 2016

Beyond Beaujolais Nouveau, many people are unfamiliar with the wines of Burgundy's brother to the south.
Chateau des Jacques, Beaujolais, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Cyril Chirouze, Louis Jadot
It's a shame, but alas, word is starting to spread.
Gamay is good. Heck, Gamay can be great.

While we who drink or flog wine for a living tend to fall in love with certain regions or wines (Sherry, Riesling, Lambrusco) and moan on about them, it doesn't always translate to the masses.
There are a number of reasons why, but that's another conversation, for another article.

I love Beaujolais wines with their juicy character and charm - this is the message I generally want to get across.

My understanding of their home is sadly limited to study and what I've consumed. It's one of the few places I've never been, therefore I don't understand the soils, the villages and the politics as well as I should.

Recently, Château des Jacques' winemaker, Cyril Chirouze (below right), hosted a tasting of the winery's Moulin-à-vent and Morgon wines.
Chateau des Jacques, Beaujolais, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Cyril Chirouze, Louis JadotHe noted that Beaujolais had long been known for bulk wines, while neighboring Burgundy where known as gentlemen's wines.
An additional piece of information I found interesting was that 75% of all Gamay (the true Gamay) is found in Beaujolais. The remainder is right here, in Canada.

The historic 17th century estate was purchased in 1996 by Louis Jadot who brought life back to this brand by employing Burgundian winemaking methods in Beaujolais. Apparently, these were once traditional in Beaujolais, but had obviously fallen out of fashion. These methods include one month long macerations, the use of wild yeasts and ageing in oak barrels for nearly a year.

Moulin-à-Vent and Morgon are two of 10 appellations in Beaujolais and share a similar soil structure - they are rich in iron and manganese.
These elements allow the wines born of these soils to age longer than typical.

Chateau des Jacques, Beaujolais, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Cyril Chirouze, Louis JadotThe Château makes wines of three levels or tiers from 196-acres of estate land. They are Château wines (regional), Clos and Grand Cru.

The region itself rests on the west bank of the Saône River in east central France.
While Beaujolais is longer than it is wide, all 10 crus (Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Côte de Brouilly, Brouilly) are bunched at the top of the region.
The varieties grownâ are Gamay for reds and Chardonnay for whites.

Moulin-à-Vent wines are considered more feminine in style (Chirouze equates to Côte d'Or) while Morgon is more masculine and closer to a Rhône-style wine in structure.

Wines Available

Chateau des Jacques, Beaujolais, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Cyril Chirouze, Louis Jadot
Morgon AOC, 2013 - A peppery and spicy nose with a mineral textured palate. Tightly wound and linear, the acidity here dominates - very youthful.
$28 private Stores

Moulin-à-Vent AOC, 2013 - A finer wine (structurally) than the previous Morgon. Charming red cherry, raspberry, baking spies, vanilla and violets seduce the nose.
$31 Private Wine Stores

Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Grand Craquelin, 2013 - Grown on light sand and clay soils, high in manganese. Fresh and floral with raspberry and white pepper notes, which roll into vanillin oak the longer it sits in the glass. Smooth entry, which grows more fleshy mid-palate. Tannins are firm but ripe. Delightful.
$42 Private Stores

Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Rochegres, 2013 - Grown on shallow granitic soils over bedrock. Purplish and red berries, violets and fine peppery spice. Quite tight and firm mid-palate, less fleshy, more linear. The tannins are youthful and grippy.
$42 Private Stores

Morgon Côte de Puy, 2013 - Grown on granite and schist soils. Juicy light and wild red summer berries and vanilla. The entry is silky and the fruit high-toned and ripe with fine spice. Good overall weight, freshness and structure.
$42 Private StoresChateau des Jacques, Beaujolais, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Cyril Chirouze, Louis Jadot

Moulin-à-Vent Champ de Cour 2009 - Grown on deep sandy soils with a pinch of clay over manganese bedrock. Deep in colour with an intense dark wild fruit profile. Coffee and toasted flavours appear on the palate with still firm tannins. It's starting to come together nicely and show more completeness than the younger wines.
$55 Private Stores

Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Richegres, 2008 - Grown on shallow granitic soil over bedrock. Wonderful vibrancy - a sweet aromatic nose of sarsaparilla and red cherry atop leather/barnyard notes. It is more open and accessible with a bit more time than some of the younger vintages. Chirouze mentions that few Beaujolais houses would show a 2008, but I thought this was a silky and sublime wine.
$42 Private Stores

Moulin-a-Vent Côte Clos de Thorins, 2004 - Grown on soils of sand and clay. Fading floral notes nicely woven with fruit on the nose, then spice tealeaf and dried rose petals on the palate. Integrated and complex - quite heady and seductive.
$42 Private Stores

*(Map and photo of Cyril Chirouze courtesy of Chateau Des Jacques - Beaujolais map courtesy of DiscoverBeaujolais.com)

~Daenna Van Mulligen
 

WineDiva.ca was launched prior to WineScores, in February 2004. WineDiva is the alter ego of Daenna Van Mulligen. She wears a cork tiara and is proof that a girl can have her w(h)ine and drink it too! WineDiva.ca is a tongue-in-cheek approach to a very serious passion for all things wine. WineDiva’s goal is to make wine fun, subtly educational & deviously inspirational. Vintage reciting wine snobs need not apply. WineDiva is painting the wine world pink and drinking it all in, and her glass is always (at least) half-full.

WineScores is the more serious follow up to WineDiva.ca. WineScores was born from the demand to see wine writer Daenna Van Mulligen provide scores on her wine reviews. These are numerical scores based on a 100 point scale – an internationally recognized form of rating w