(2014) The most elevated Cru of Beaujolais is Chiroubles. This comes from a 60-year-old vineyard at 400 metres elevation and is made in stainless steel. The colour is a really saturated crimson, with tight and mineral and green-flecked aromas of racy and sappy red berries. This is peppery, spicy and intriguing. In the mouth lovely energy and tension, with that gravel and mineral edge nudging the fruit into second place, and a long, spice-infused finish.
(2014) Burgaud produces this wine from 50-year-old vines on his one hectare of Régnié (Rayn-yay), planted on sandy and stony soils. It sees no oak, only stainless steel. Quite a delicate ruby/crimson colour, and delicate aromatically too with rose-hip and fresh red cherry, and just a touch of watercolour paintbox. On the palate it is so purely and creamily red fruited, with a great deal of sweetness perfectly balanced by grippy tannins and spicy extract. Good sappy acidity too in a lovely wine that drinks well.
(2014) Planted on granite soils at 250 metres elevation, de Raousset's Fleurie is fermented in cement tanks before eight months ageing in old oak barrels. A very dark, saturated crimson, it is a touch reductive at first, a little struck match note detracting, then deep and vinous, spicy fruit does come through. On the palate it is earthy and spicy. Maybe it is the relative rusticity after the smoothly appealing Régnié, but the fruit is not quite shining.
(2014) >From the lieu-dit of En Bottière, a vineyard on schist (slate) and granite soils with seams of clay, the vines are 50 years old on average and are planted at an altitude of 180 meters. The yield from this vineyard was 48hl/ha, and the wine spent four months in large barrels after semi-carbonic maceration. The colour is a vibrant crimson and the nose violet-driven and pure, with taut berry fruit and delicate spice. In the mouth the bittersweetness is lovely, balanced between ripe and juicy berries and their skins, and an earthy, spicy and meaty aspect to the tannin structure. Quite a full and robust style, but racy and crisp in the finish.
(2014) No oak for this cuvée, of which only around 3,000 bottles are made. It has a moderate ruby colour and beautiful and clear nose, small red berries singing from the glass with redcurrant and cherry, a delicate sappiness and hint of briar wood. On the palate that sappy, acid control gives this linearity and an elegantly serious streak, but there is flesh and there is plenty of that red berry fruit touched by pepper and spice. The sweetness of the fruit persists into a long, well-balanced finish.
(2014) Aged in old oak foudres, this is a wine from an estate that produces a mere 700 cases annually. The vines are 40 years old. Bold crimson colour and a vinous nose with bright red fruits and certainly a sappy, briary edge, but there's a sense of ripeness here, even a hint of vanilla in there. In the mouth it is cool and precise, plenty of spice and a warming weight of tannin and earthy structure. That cool, stone and mineral freshness of the acidity balances a nice cherry fruitiness.
(2014) >From a small cooperative cellar, this wine comes from Gamay grown on shale soils. The colour is a rich ruby, and aromas are quite pretty, discreet and precise, with delicate cherry and just a little spice. That spiciness grows on the palate, with a tongue-tingling character and more red berry and cherry fruit. It remains a fairly understated example of Morgon however, though there's a nicely structured and juicy linearity.
(2013) >From the ripe 2010 vintage, this has a fine crimson colour and shows immediate lift, cherry-ripeness and abundant fruit, all edged with a mineral and briar note that is very appealing. On the palate it is crunchy and vital, with a lean, bright savour that makes it mouth-watering and yet fairly substantial. Just the thing for some rillettes and a chunk of crusty bread.
(2013) This wine made my Wine of the Week recently (see my video review), as a clever choice for Valentine's day. Whilst it plays up the romantic connotation with its floral label, the stuff inside is actually pretty serious. The colour is a vivid, deep crimson, and the nose has the requisite cherry and sappy, gently woodland note with touches of briar and green peppercorn. On the palate there's a certain meatiness to this wine, the core of sweet cherry and summer pudding fruit buttressed by good acidity and some grippy tannin, which whilst easy to drink and quite full, gives it savoury structure too.
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