(2021) From limestone soils in Beaujolais this is unoaked Chardonnay with creamy stone fruit aromatics, very lightly buttery, ripe and almost minty notes. In the mouth the mineral and lemon thrust comes as some surprise after the roundness of the aromas, giving this an incisive, brisk and bone-dry character, elegant and linear, finishing long on fruit and limey acid. Available April 2021.
(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 Grand Pré vineyard, this has much more depth and savoury, sweet earth character than the Pierres Dorées, a warmth of autumnal fruits and a touch of old wood polish perhaps. Very juicy, deliciously tangy on the palate, the Gamay giving flesh and lightly gany black fruit, long and balanced, the acidity extending the finish. Available May 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.
(2020) From the Coteaux Bourguignons appellation in Beaujolais (though vinified at Latour's HQ in Beaune), this grows on clay and limestone soils, which also have some 'terra rossa' iron-oxide influence. After fermentation in open vats it spends 10 to 12 months ageing in a combination of stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. Lovely cherry bright and briary nose, floral and lightly herbal characters adding freshness and light to the aromas. The fruit is deliciously sweet as it strikes the palate; pert and pretty, it is firmly in the red fruit spectrum of cherry and a touch of raspberry. Spicy, dry tannins and very good, juicy acidity adds length and balance. Deliciously drinkable.
(2019) Moving south of the Côte d'Or and into Beaujolais for this Cru Brouilly wine, 100% Gamay and from a very good year, and made in stainless steel tanks. Beautifully expressive nose, all violets and lifted rose and cherry scents, there's a sense of real ripeness here, even touching on blackcurrant, and something gently spicy or smoky. In the mouth plenty of bouyant fruit, lithe and fresh with pert acidity and a nice rasp of tannins to show its more serious side, this is lovely and savoury Beaujolais of excellent quality. It finishes with a lick of spice and good fruit concentration.
(2019) Morgon is one of the 'Cru' villages where slate and granite soils are rich in maganese, and which produces some of my favourite Beaujolais wines. The vines here are over 50 years old, and the wine is vinified traditionally, not using the carbonic maceration technique. Delicious aromas, immediately appealing with its lightly spiced, slick black fruit, vinous with cherry and damson plum. In the mouth firm tannins and cherry-pit acidity give this a bit of tension and steeliness, the firm quality of the plummy fruit also savoury and umami-rich. A food wine for sure, watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. Note too that Oddbins has been carrying this wine recently, though showing 'out of stock' at time of review.
(2019) From an estate owned by Louis Jadot, but run quite autonomously by Guillaume de Castelnau, this is serious Cru Beaujolais, aged in barrel. A little initial funkiness blows off quickly to reveal a charming nose, decidely Gamay with its floral and watercolour paint lift, but with a deeper fruitiness and touch of game adding complexity. In the mouth the sweet fruit impresses in its purity, ripe and tart cherry and black berries, and there is grip here, a firm spicy tannin and very good acidity. This improved with air and might well benefit from ageing a little, or decanting an hour before serving.
(2018) Like the superb Morgon from this Domaine, this Côte de Brouilly is no shrinking violet with 14.3% alcohol from the super and hot 2015 vintage. It has similar density and power, but wrapped in a slightly firmer cloak of tannins and acidity, more savoury, dark and spicy in character, the more opulent Morgon having a little more come-hither charm. But the meaty concentration here is admirable, some brighter red fruit acidity honing the edges, in a Beaujolais that would sit very happily with a steak.