Beaujolais 2018 -how good?

Having now tried quite a few these are my thoughts

A ripe vintage with phenolic ripeness (so no dusty finishes like 2015). Fruit can be slightly confected in some.

seems to suit Chiroubles, Brouilly, and Cote de Brouilly very well. I’ve also had decent Villages, St Amour and Regnie.

The Julienas I tried was rather sour, probably more an issue of drinking window than the appellation. I’ve had mixed experiences with Fleurie too. Need more time. I suspect the longer haul wines like Morgon, Chenas and Moulin a Vent which I’ve not yet tried but have bought will be mixed in terms of whether they drink well or not at this stage.

My experience so far is it is a great vintage for the early drinking cru including Villages.
 
Prompted by an article by David Crossley visited Littlewine website. Excellent, speedy next day service, very securely packaged. Purchased a mixed six including the following.
  • 2018 Guy Breton Chiroubles - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chiroubles (10/12/2020)
    Garnet, faint mauve tinged rim; flighty, a natural slant, lifted, finely tuned red fruit; purity of fruit on palate, tart raspberries; supple, clean finish. Drink now & next couple of years. (89 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
No high alcohol issues - declared at 13% & seemingly accurate.
 
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Jasper,
When you say that a wine is "bacterial", do you mean that it has been infected? If so, what is the particular taste of such a wine that is different from other faulty wines ?
Maybe you are talking about bret?
 
Howard
sorry for slow reply, knee deep in 2019 tasting notes. I say bacterial because bret is only one such and I lack the scientific background to spot which bacteria might be at issue. Broadly speaking bacterial for me is shorthand for <bret or other similar deviations>
so does not mean TCA
volatility is often a collateral issue but not exactly the same
 
Howard
sorry for slow reply, knee deep in 2019 tasting notes. I say bacterial because bret is only one such and I lack the scientific background to spot which bacteria might be at issue. Broadly speaking bacterial for me is shorthand for <bret or other similar deviations>
so does not mean TCA
volatility is often a collateral issue but not exactly the same

But brettanomyces is a yeast, Jasper, not a bacterium!
 
A few months on from some lovely bottles of Beaujolais ‘18 drunk last summer and I think these now need holding for a while. What I’m getting at the moment is some quite confected fruit. Some that have the aromatics can take it but should still be better in a couple of years. Others are now tasting rather syrupy and sickly.

Will that ripeness and very sweet fruit come to mark this vintage in a bad way or will they firm up with a bit more age and really shine?
 
Good question, I’ve only opened a 2018 Aviron Fleurie VV from TWS over the winter which wasn’t quite the juicy young wine of the summer but wasn’t confected, more research needed !
 
How do people find JP Bruns wines v young vs. with a few years on them?
I used to think they needed ages - the bottles of 04/05s I felt never really came round - but then I was bowled over by his '11 Morgon when I tasted it EP. I'm just coming to the end of my case of '09 MaV, it may just be starting to decline but only just!
 
Location
London
Mixed case up at TWS
The 2019 version has appeared now and I have stuck it into reserves.

The modest 2018s I've been drinking have continued to be enjoyable:

2018 Trénel Fils Juliénas Domaine Marius Sangouard - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Juliénas (4/4/2021)
This was absolutely fine, but could I think have benefited from some additional maturity - brambly fruit, a hint of darkness and tannin. Drank it on the cold side (no indoor socialising just yet!) and that might not have helped. (88 pts.)

2018 Jacques Depagneux Brouilly Domaine des Côteaux de Font de Curé - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Brouilly (4/2/2021)
An attractive crunchy quality to this - easy-drinking with a mineral edge that gave it the power to pair well with disparate elements of our picnic such as coronation chicken, sausage rolls, Brie and pesto orzo. Simple but effective, and disappeared extremely quickly. (89 pts.)

2018 Domaine du Moulin d'Éole Chiroubles - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chiroubles (3/27/2021)
Somewhat belied the reputation of Chiroubles as one of the earliest-drinking crus, as this wine had noticeable tannin even a little while after opening. Very good though regardless, with a cool, stony, mineral quality and ample dark cherry fruit. Easy drinking but stood up well to Thai red curry with sirloin steak. (90 pts.)

2018 The Wine Society Exhibition Côte de Brouilly - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly (11/22/2020)
You might fairly describe this wine as simple, but that doesn't mean it isn't good - loads of fruit, impeccable balance, refreshing and straightforward. (89 pts.)

2018 J.M. Aujoux Morgon Les Charmes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (11/18/2020)
First from a mixed case of twelve 2018 Beaujolais purchased from The Wine Society. It's a high-acid wine, better with food, but I can see why it attracted the 'charmes' designation - there's a certain cheery drinkability to it. Mostly dark red fruit but there are some little elements of things like sweet fruit crumble and damp earth. Good wine. (89 pts.)
 
This TN delayed as I attempted to buy some more at the bargain price of £11.50. Regretfully the original vendor & one other have sold out. Unable to bring my self to pay the current asking price. And thanks but no thanks, I don't want 2019.
This bottle is the closest approximation to the legendary/Damascene (IMHO) Loron (an otherwise mediocre producer) Chiroubles '83. The search continues.
I note the winemaker is Pauline Passot & the wine is similar in style to that of Benjamin P. A search shows at least three other Bojo producers with Passot associations. Very Morey-like.
The label states 12.5% alcohol & it's thereabouts.
  • 2018 Domaine de la Grosse Pierre Chiroubles - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chiroubles (22/04/2021)
    Strong colour, the faintest tinge of mauve at rim; gorgeous cherried bouquet, backed by a serious note; gush of juicy fruits, with air deepens & adds some weight, remains shapely. Delicious now & next couple of years. Classic Chiroubles. (92 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker

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This TN delayed as I attempted to buy some more at the bargain price of £11.50. Regretfully the original vendor & one other have sold out. Unable to bring my self to pay the current asking price. And thanks but no thanks, I don't want 2019.
This bottle is the closest approximation to the legendary/Damascene (IMHO) Loron (an otherwise mediocre producer) Chiroubles '83. The search continues.
I note the winemaker is Pauline Passot & the wine is similar in style to that of Benjamin P. A search shows at least three other Bojo producers with Passot associations. Very Morey-like.
The label states 12.5% alcohol & it's thereabouts.
  • 2018 Domaine de la Grosse Pierre Chiroubles - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chiroubles (22/04/2021)
    Strong colour, the faintest tinge of mauve at rim; gorgeous cherried bouquet, backed by a serious note; gush of juicy fruits, with air deepens & adds some weight, remains shapely. Delicious now & next couple of years. Classic Chiroubles. (92 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
19s are lovely too - I bought some whilst there - look out for the Régnié...
 
Had my first disappointment , 2018 Domaine Rocailleres Vielle vignes. Not a property I know.
I feel I should probably chip in here, as this is an estate whose wines I brought to the UK through FMV/BBR. Domaine de la Rocaillère is run by Vincent Fontaine, who is a friend of Jean-Marc Burgaud's (which is where the introduction came from). He's based in Pommiers, in the south of the Beaujolais (outside the villages appellation although he does have some family vineyards further north classified as B-V). The soil where he is has plenty of pink granite similar to some of the Crus and he has lots of lovely old vines.

The wine is made in what is now considered the "traditional" fashion; semi-carbonic maceration of mainly whole bunches with ageing in concrete and steel tanks. Its principal flaw was always that it was arguably a little too serious for the price point and often needed a bit of time and air to show well. I fear I may have exacerbated this by suggesting Vincent might use DIAM corks for our peace of mind when selling to restaurants, which perhaps added to the reduction and tightness on opening. Gamay is always a little more susceptible to reduction, so using DIAM can be a challenge if the sulphur level is optimised for more porous natural cork.

We sadly no longer work with the estate because the principal route to market was brasserie-type restaurants, which we no longer really service, and BBR of course has the Own Selection Beaujolais-Villages. A shame, as I am very fond of the winemaker and his wines. I think I enjoyed some of the 2017 and 2018 last summer and it was a delicious summer drink, albeit often better the day after or with a vigorous decant, which seems perverse for a wine which retails at about £12.
 
Location
London
Thanks Adam

This is a wine I've enjoyed myself - introduced to it via a session that used wines from the BBR range to demonstrate the various qualities of Beaujolais. This was the most modest wine of the evening, and wasn't shown up.

2017 Domaine de la Rocaillère (Vincent Fontaine) Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais (8/31/2020)
Hit the spot once again - supremely easy to drink, ripe forest fruits, enjoyed by all (without food, after the pub). NB it threw a huge amount of sediment, which I wasn't expecting, much of which unfortunately found itself into the final glass. (89 pts.)

2017 Domaine de la Rocaillère (Vincent Fontaine) Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais (5/12/2020)
Beaujolais revisited with Anne McHale MW (Zoom!)
: Not much on the nose - just a suggestion of red fruits. Lots of lovely fresh fruit on the palate. Balanced, refreshing, and vivacious. Some nice concentration from the old vines. A touch of slightly drying tannin. Just so drinkable - would be killer with a picnic. (90 pts.)
 
I feel I should probably chip in here, as this is an estate whose wines I brought to the UK through FMV/BBR. Domaine de la Rocaillère is run by Vincent Fontaine, who is a friend of Jean-Marc Burgaud's (which is where the introduction came from). He's based in Pommiers, in the south of the Beaujolais (outside the villages appellation although he does have some family vineyards further north classified as B-V). The soil where he is has plenty of pink granite similar to some of the Crus and he has lots of lovely old vines.

The wine is made in what is now considered the "traditional" fashion; semi-carbonic maceration of mainly whole bunches with ageing in concrete and steel tanks. Its principal flaw was always that it was arguably a little too serious for the price point and often needed a bit of time and air to show well. I fear I may have exacerbated this by suggesting Vincent might use DIAM corks for our peace of mind when selling to restaurants, which perhaps added to the reduction and tightness on opening. Gamay is always a little more susceptible to reduction, so using DIAM can be a challenge if the sulphur level is optimised for more porous natural cork.

We sadly no longer work with the estate because the principal route to market was brasserie-type restaurants, which we no longer really service, and BBR of course has the Own Selection Beaujolais-Villages. A shame, as I am very fond of the winemaker and his wines. I think I enjoyed some of the 2017 and 2018 last summer and it was a delicious summer drink, albeit often better the day after or with a vigorous decant, which seems perverse for a wine which retails at about £12.

indeed Adam a BBR purchase. Perhaps I have been too harsh. I have 23 bottles left so will re-appraise it. My first impression was , a bit watery rather than slipping down easily crunch, fruity.
I think I have been spoiled by the great run of wines I have had from this region perhaps.
it almost feels like you are describing Latignie from Alexandre Burgaud (Jean’s Cousin) , my great discovery last year , so enjoyable. Sadly don’t think it was offered this year ?
I did however purchase Jean Marc’s own Latignie as well as his more well known Morgons.

will duly revert.
 
I feel I should probably chip in here, as this is an estate whose wines I brought to the UK through FMV/BBR. Domaine de la Rocaillère is run by Vincent Fontaine, who is a friend of Jean-Marc Burgaud's (which is where the introduction came from). He's based in Pommiers, in the south of the Beaujolais (outside the villages appellation although he does have some family vineyards further north classified as B-V). The soil where he is has plenty of pink granite similar to some of the Crus and he has lots of lovely old vines.

The wine is made in what is now considered the "traditional" fashion; semi-carbonic maceration of mainly whole bunches with ageing in concrete and steel tanks. Its principal flaw was always that it was arguably a little too serious for the price point and often needed a bit of time and air to show well. I fear I may have exacerbated this by suggesting Vincent might use DIAM corks for our peace of mind when selling to restaurants, which perhaps added to the reduction and tightness on opening. Gamay is always a little more susceptible to reduction, so using DIAM can be a challenge if the sulphur level is optimised for more porous natural cork.

We sadly no longer work with the estate because the principal route to market was brasserie-type restaurants, which we no longer really service, and BBR of course has the Own Selection Beaujolais-Villages. A shame, as I am very fond of the winemaker and his wines. I think I enjoyed some of the 2017 and 2018 last summer and it was a delicious summer drink, albeit often better the day after or with a vigorous decant, which seems perverse for a wine which retails at about £12.

Adam , does anybody specifically look after Beaujolais at BBR . It would seem not. Never any emails or general offers, wines just seem to pop up, as have a few more this morning. A few of which tempt me.
 
I haven’t had any 2019s yet. We opened another bottle of Rocailleres at a small gathering, and opinion
was the same . Drinkable, fun gluggable Bojo , a bit thin and wouldn’t rush out to replace.
 
Adam , does anybody specifically look after Beaujolais at BBR . It would seem not. Never any emails or general offers, wines just seem to pop up, as have a few more this morning. A few of which tempt me.
Yes, I am the buyer for Beaujolais and am always keen to promote the wines more, but we have never had a formal Beaujolais offer, at least under my tenure. One is coming in a couple of months, however. I am hugely enthusiastic about the region, and it is possibly the region I drink most often, because of the price/quality ratio which I honestly think is unbeaten (although good Muscadet and German Riesling are other worthy candidates for that title) and the versatility and drinkability, a much-underestimated quality. Theya look age fantastically well of course.

One of the battles I have is that the wines are often seen as too cheap for many of the big-spending BBR customers to be interested in, but it's our job to bring the "market" with us and I'm determined to do so.

I think our tranche of 2019s from Desvignes has just appeared online along with some Sunier, Métrat Chignard and Thivin. We had a bit of a shortage at the start of the year but have restocked since.
 
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