(2021) Wine merchant Chris Piper is passionate about Beaujolais, with close ties to the Château de Grandmont. On sale since the third Thursday of November, as is traditional for Beaujolais 'Nouveau', two flags hint that this might be a worthwhile example: it is certified organic, and it comes from the superior Beaujolais-Villages appellation. It has a wonderfully vivid purple colour and classically lifted aromas of cherry and watercolour paintbox, but there's something a little herbaceous and gravelly too. On the palate that gravel and a dry nut-husk character gives the otherwise buoyant and juicy red fruits a nicely savoury aspect, along with good acidity to leave the finish fruity, gently spicy and crisp. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2021) Vibrant purple colour, the wine made with 50% carbonic maceration, and offering playful, lifted, cherry lips and blueberry jam aromas. Lovely juicy palate, a twiggy, dry edge to the otherwise soft, ripe and juicy, pulpy black fruits gives definition along with good acidity, the finish long, fresh and tangy. Buoyant, joyful stuff. Available April 2021.
(2021) Cru Beaujolais from the village of Fleurie, this is Gamay made in a bright and attractive style, yet with a bit of depth and savoury vinosity too. A vivid, youthful purple in colour, the nose has a little of the lipstick and watercolour paintbox character of Gamay made with partial carbonic maceration (a technique that give fruity wines, a little lower in tannin). The sweetness and vivid flavour of kirsch cherry and ripe, sweet plum comes through, those tannins gentle and creamy, and the acid perfectly poised. I think this is one of the stars of this selection. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
See reviews of five more wines from the tour at Lidl Spring Wine Tour 2021.
(2020) Part of Lidl's 'Wine Tour' in Autumn 2020, this is Cru Beaujolais (so coming from Juliénas, one of the best villages), and is 100% Gamay planted on granite soils. Fermentation here was traditional, rather than the carbonic maceration technique of many Beaujolais wines, and the colour is deep and vivid. Aromatically, the wine is lovely: vine fruits, blackcurrant and plum are quite glossy, the profile sleek. In the mouth there is excellent fruit sweetness and depth of flavour. Medium-bodied, the tannins are soft but supportive, and the acidity is very nicely balanced. A ripe and satisfying Gamay this, and one of my top picks of this selection.
(2014) Apparently Marcel Orford-Williams, the Society's buyer for Beaujolais is "jumping up and down with quality of the vintage." Bright, cherry fresh colour and expressively, buoyantly Gamay, with lipstick and cherries and real floral lift. The palate has an inky dryness, but this has flesh too, some body and grip, a bit of really intense cherry and red plum fruit in the mid palate, finishing with a touch of sweetness to the fruit and a hint of spice.
(2014) The Cave de Château de Chénas is a co-op, founded in 1934 and now representing 110 growers. This is their prestige cuvée of Beaujolais smallest Cru, Chénas, aged in oak for 10 months. Purple/ruby in colour, there's an immediate floral delicacy here, a soft, fresh fruitiness and suggestion of openness. It has a touch of bubblegum too. On the palate the tannins come as something of a surprise, really grippy and striking the palate before the cherry and blueberry fruit emerges. Plenty of acidity and crunch in this wine, spices, and the warmth of the oak and inherent sweetness of the fruit leaving it moreish in the finish.
(2013) Truly old Gamay vines here - some over 80 years old. Youthful and vibrant colour, and quite a delicate nose, notes of raspberry and floral-edged cherry, a nice touch of charcoal in the background. All about fruit on the palate with abundant red berries, quite a creamy texture, and whilst not hugely complex, delightfully balanced between the fruit and dry, cranberry and orange acidity with enough tannin to ruffle the finish.
(2012) >From one of the best Beaujolais vintage of recent decades, this has a lovely Gamay sappiness on the nose, briary with a touch of green wood, but refined red berry fruit and a certain gently smoky mineral character too. In the mouth the concentration of sweet fruit is arresting. There's a cherry and ripe, juicy red plum character, but the leanness and edge of the acidity and tight tannic structure squeezes the flavours back into place for an elegant, dry finish. It doesn't have the ultimate juiciness and depth of the best Cru Beaujolais from this vintage, but it is a lovely wine.
(2010) 100% Gamay from 50-year-old vines. Beautifully ripe and appealing screwcapped Bojo with a raspberry fruited nose and touches of fresh herbs. The palate too has buoyant, super-sweet fruit with a slick of tart cherry acidity and smooth tannins adding some grip. Delightful.
(2006) Lovely deep cherry fruit quality on the nose, with a dry, mineral quality but good depth. On the palate it has plenty of fruit, and a big, dry streak of acidity that isn't quite gelling at this stage, but has a richness and depth of fruit. , £6.99.