A Collection of Beaujolais Wines for Spring

A Collection of Beaujolais Wines for Spring

Beaujolais has not been hugely popular in the UK over the years due to the truly dreadful fashion for Beaujolais Nouveau that dried up in the 90s, and later the bubblegum driven / banana smelling cheap wines that arrived here, because the French didn't want them and the Brits liked that sweet style of red. Remember that Beaujolais is huge in restaurants across France, from Lyon to Paris to Nice, and producers historically have been in no hurry to send their precious cru wines to the UK. 

Now, as Burgundy prices have priced out young, hungry producers from Burgundy, many have travelled down to Beaujolais to grow grapes and produce wines of wonderful style and elegance and these wines are more and more available in the UK. The market for Beaujolais is really exciting. These trully are restaurant wines to enjoy at home and I am here to find you some brilliant examples. 

We are most focused on Beaujolais Cru wines which are divided in to 10 fairly different villages. They can be very different in character. I have also listed a fantastic example of a Beaujolais white wine made from Chardonnay, which is great value and truly punches above its weight as an 'insider wine'. 

The 10 Beaujolais crus are named after villages. The following three crus produce the lightest-bodied Beaujolais and are typically intended to be consumed within three years of the vintage. Brouilly - The largest cru and only cru that allows grapes to be grown for wines other than gamay, namely Aligoté, Melon de Bourgogne, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; Régnié. The most recently recognised cru; Chiroubles has the highest altitudes among the Cru Beaujolais. The next three crus produce more medium bodied Cru Beaujolais: Côte de BrouillyFleurieSaint-Amour; Finally more full bodied wines: Chénas - the smallest Cru Beaujolais; JuliénasMorgon (earthy, textured wines); finally, Moulin-à-Vent. 

The eponymous Victoria Moore describes the gamay grape: 

"Gamay is a light and sappy French bistro classic, often best served chilled. Good gamay is reminiscnet of red summer pudding berries and graphite[!]

I am excited for you to try some of these elegant wines.