(2022) Yep, it's Bojo Novo day (Thursday November 17th 2022) but here's one that marches to a different beat: fermented with indigenous yeasts and with no added sulfites, it's a Beaujolais that could almost qualify as a 'natural wine', not farmed organically but in a strict eco-friendly and sustainable viticultural methodology, using no synthetic fungicides, insecticides, weed-killers or fertilisers. The colour is an astonishingly vivid deep purple, and the nose clear as a bell with scents of black cherry plus fine aromatic herbs and spices. In the mouth it bursts with fresh, crunchy black fruit. There's an inherent sweet fruit ripeness, but this is a dry and savoury wine, tannins and plum-skin gripping acidity extending the finish. Available by the dozen from Christopher Piper Wines (Christopher is also involved in making the wine) at the equivalent of £10.13 per bottle.
(2022) Cru Beaujolais made with whole-bunch fermentation and aged in cement tanks, this is fresh, and delicately cherry and floral scented. Loads of juicy, light- to medium-bodied fruit, like biting into a ripe plum crossed with a peach, plenty of sparky acidity and enough tannin to deliver a lovely mouthful of wine.
(2022) A new Cru Beaujolais for the Society, available from 4th May 2022, only 50% was whole bunch fermented and the wine was aged 10 months in Austrian oak vats. A more serious style for sure, a deeper sense of fruit and a polished quality, lots of charming fruit sweetness suggested though. In the mouth quite creamy and ripe, a firm liquorice edge to the raspberry and plum fruits, and a firming edge of acidity too in a concentrated finish.
(2022) Made from 50-year-old vines grown on Beaujolais hillsides in Lantignié. Lovely Gamay nose, a little lipstick character, delicate florals and some deeper and delicately earthy red fruits. The palate has that dry, stony and lightly herbaceous character that gives these wines really sappiness and freshness. Good length, spices, and some sweetness to the fruit that gives this terrific honesty and typicity.
(2022) A serious rendition of Cru Beaujolais, from an estate in conversion to organic agriculture and 60- to 100-year-old vines. Twenty percent was aged in oak for 18 months. There's an immediate firmness on the nose, a liquorice bite to cherry skin and a touch of raspberry. In the mouth savoury and sappy, the bright acidity and tight tannins adding lots of gastronomic appeal. The oak adds a polish, the fruit nicely poised between sweet and bitter, and the finish long. A fine expression of Gamay and Moulin-à-Vent. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) Though he has vineyards in various of the Cru villages, apparently winemaker Philippe Vermorel rates this as his personal favourite. I can see why with its joyous, smile-inducing aromas, so sleek and bursting with firm black cherry and zippy raspberry, the merest touch of lipsticky, more floral lift in the background. On the palate it really is a smooth devil, copious fruit is layered from start to finish, with a lovely gentle balance of tannin and acidity barely ruffling the picture.
(2022) Unoaked Chardonnay from clay soils, just south of the Mâconnaise, and a lovely, limpid wine reminiscent of the wines from further north. Pale yellow in colour with plenty of succulent fruit aromas, a little like spiced pears and with some interesting floral top notes too. In the mouth it hints at the tropical, peach and even touching on mango, but stays sharp and well-defined with crisp apple and citrus the finishing flavours. Nicely done at a modest price.
(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) Well, I loved this rosé in my big tasting of 2021's pinks I must say, made from 100% Gamay and from Beaujolais. Yes, it is fashionably Provence pale, but feels totally un-contrived unlike some. The vineyards are cultivated under the 'Terra Vitis' biological system (close to organic with a few allowances), and the wine opens with great succulence and delicacy: rose-hip, summer blossom and peach down are the notes, leading on to a palate where a zesty lemon acidity ensures a dry finish, but that's after the small redcurrant and peach fruit charms the mid-palate. A really lovely rosé this, great value for money, and one of my favourites of my extensive pink wine tasting. Watch the video for more information.
(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.