Have questions about Beaujolais that you were too bashful to ask? Fear not, we've compiled the answers to all your Beaujolais questions from our resident WSET diploma expert to help you navigate through the delicious and somewhat complex world of Beaujolais.
Is Beaujolais a red wine?
What a simple question?! Well, it may shock you to know that there are white Beaujolais wines being produced. Beaujolais is (usually) a light, fruity red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France just south of Burgundy. However, a very small % of white Beaujolais is in production from the Chardonnay grape and becoming a more interesting sub-variety within the red dominated Beaujolais.
There are many areas of Beaujolais, especially in the cru of Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent and Brouilly producing much deeper, denser, age worthy wines that are challenging the image of light and fruity Beaujolais and commanding much higher prices too.
What are the classifications in Beaujolais?
The most basic Beaujolais is simply labeled Beaujolais. It is light in body, fruity, and low in tannins, making it a great choice for casual sipping or pairing with food.
The next step up in quality is Beaujolais-Villages, which is made from grapes grown in specific villages in the region and is slightly more concentrated and has a bit more structure.
At the top of the Beaujolais classifications are the 10 Crus of Beaujolais. These wines are produced from grapes grown in specific, high-quality vineyards in the region and are the fullest-bodied and most complex of the Beaujolais wines. The crus include Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié, and Saint-Amour.
Each of these crus has its own distinct character, ranging from bright and light to full-bodied and complex. Beaujolais is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable and easy-drinking red wine. But if you’re looking for something with a little more complexity and structure, you’ll want to explore the different classifications of Beaujolais. From the basic Beaujolais to the more complex Crus, there’s something for everyone in the world of Beaujolais.
Is Beaujolais part of Burgundy?
The million dollar question! Omitted from many of the wine critics books on Burgundy, officially the answer to this question is yes, even if the two areas offer many distinct winemaking techniques; Beaujolais is part of Burgundy. It is a region located in the south of Burgundy, and it is known for its specific type of wine. Beaujolais is located in the south of Burgundy and is known for its light-bodied red wines made from the Gamay grape variety.
The region is known for its production of Beaujolais Nouveau, a young, fruity red wine that is released each year. Beaujolais wines are usually light-bodied and easy to drink, making them a great choice for any occasion. Beaujolais is also well-known for its unique terroir, which is the combination of soil, climate, and other factors that contribute to the character of the wines produced in the region.
The combination of limestone and clay soils along with the warm and sunny climate of the region make the wines light and fruity. The wines of Beaujolais are often described as being light, fruity, and easy to drink. Beaujolais is part of the larger Burgundy region. It is located in the south of Burgundy, and the two regions share many similarities.
The wines of both regions are made from the same grape varieties, and they share the same terroir. The wines of Burgundy are known for their elegance and complexity, while the wines of Beaujolais are known for their lightness and fruity character. In conclusion, Beaujolais is part of Burgundy. The two regions share many similarities and produce wines of similar character. The wines of Beaujolais are light, fruity, and easy to drink, making them a great choice for any occasion.
What shape bottles does Beaujolais come in?
Beaujolais wines come in Burgundy shaped bottles.
Is Beaujolais a dry or sweet wine?
Beaujolais is always a dry wine but surprisingly can be made from Gamay or Chardonnay via carbonic maceration or regular traditional wine making techniques. 99% of Beaujolais is red wine made from Gamay.
Where is Beaujolais?
Beaujolais is a wine region in the very south of Burgundy, north of the major gastronomic city of Lyon and part of the Saône-et-Loire department in the central Eastern part of France.
What is cru Beaujolais?
The Ten Cru Beaujolais is a collection of 10 distinct and separate appellations from the wine-producing region of Beaujolais in France. Each of the 10 crus are distinct from each other and have their own unique characteristics that make them special. The ten crus are: Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Juliénas, Saint-Amour, Morgon, Fleurie, Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, and Chiroubles.
Moulin-à-Vent is the most well-known of the ten cru Beaujolais, and is often referred to as the “king of Beaujolais.” It is located in the northern part of the region and its wines are characterized by deep color, a broad palate, and a long finish. The wines of Moulin-à-Vent are often aged in oak barrels, and can be aged for up to 10 years.
Chénas is the second most well-known cru Beaujolais, and is located in the center of the region. Its wines are more delicate and subtle than those of Moulin-à-Vent, and are known for their aromas of ripe cherries, violets, and spices. The wines of Chénas are usually meant for early drinking and can be enjoyed within a year of production. Juliénas is located east of Moulin-à-Vent and is known for its light-bodied wines with red fruit flavours and a hint of spice.
The wines of Juliénas are meant to be enjoyed young and are an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats and vegetables.
Saint-Amour is located in the southern part of the region and is known for its light-bodied wines with a bright, fruity flavour. The wines of Saint-Amour are usually meant for early drinking, and are an excellent accompaniment to salads, fish, and poultry.
Morgon is located in the eastern part of the region and is known for its full-bodied, tannic wines with complex aromas and flavours. The wines of Morgon are usually meant for aging and can be enjoyed up to 10 years after production.
Fleurie is located north of Moulin-à-Vent and is known for its light-bodied, fruity wines with subtle floral aromas. The wines of Fleurie are usually meant for early drinking and can be enjoyed within a year of production. Brouilly is located in the western part of the region and is known for its light-bodied, fruity wines with a hint of spice.
The wines of Brouilly are usually meant for early drinking and can be enjoyed within a year of production. Côte de Brouilly is located south of Brouilly and is known for its full-bodied, tannic wines with aromas of ripe cherries and spices.
The wines of Côte de Brouilly are usually meant for aging and can be enjoyed up to 10 years after production.
Régnié is located in the northern part of the region and is known for its light-bodied, fruity wines with subtle floral aromas. The wines of Régnié are usually meant for early drinking and can be enjoyed within a year of production.
Chiroubles is located in the northernmost part of the region and is known for its light-bodied, fruity wines with aromas of ripe cherries and spices. The wines of Chiroubles are usually meant for early drinking and can be enjoyed within a year of production.
The Ten Cru Beaujolais are unique in their own right, and each offers something different to the wine enthusiast. From light-bodied, fruity wines to full-bodied, tannic wines, the Ten Cru Beaujolais have something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a wine to enjoy young or one to age, the Ten Cru Beaujolais are sure to please.
What is Beaujolais Nouveau?
Ah, the allure of the Beaujolais Nouveau - the exciting rush to be the first to enjoy the newly released, highly anticipated French wine! Every year, on the third Thursday of November, a new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is released to the public. This special wine is made from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France, and it is celebrated around the world.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a fresh and fruity wine, typically released just a few weeks after harvest. It is meant to be enjoyed young, with its vibrant flavours of grapes, raspberries, and spice. It is best served slightly chilled and pairs well with a variety of dishes. It is also a great choice for entertaining, as its light and fruity nature makes it a crowd-pleaser.
In France, the release of Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated with great fanfare. Many restaurants and wine bars host special events centered around the new release. The wine is often served in a carafe, and it is customary to toast the new vintage with friends. The release of Beaujolais Nouveau is an exciting time of year, and it is the perfect excuse to gather with friends and celebrate. Whether you are in France or abroad, Beaujolais Nouveau is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face!
Who are the top producers in Beaujolais?
Many of the top Beaujolais producers have been making wine for generations and are renowned for their expertise and skill. Some of the best producers in the region include Jean-Paul Brun, Jean Foillard, Marcel Lapierre, and Domaine Dupeuble.
Jean-Paul Brun is one of the most renowned producers in Beaujolais. He produces a range of wines from light and fruity to full-bodied and bold. His wines are highly sought after and he is known for his attention to detail and ability to craft wines that showcase the unique terroir of Beaujolais.
Jean Foillard is one of the most renowned and respected winemakers in Beaujolais. Born in 1945, Foillard grew up on his family's small farm in the small village of Villié-Morgon. He learned the techniques of winemaking from his father, who began producing wine in the 1940s. Foillard is known for creating some of the best and most sought-after Beaujolais wines. He is a pioneer in the use of natural winemaking techniques, such as spontaneous fermentation, low-intervention winemaking, and single-vineyard bottlings. He was also one of the first producers to experiment with carbonic maceration, a winemaking technique that produces fruity, soft wines. Foillard's wines are highly sought-after for their complexity and balance. He produces a range of wines from Gamay, the grape variety used to make Beaujolais, including Beaujolais Villages, Morgon, and Moulin-à-Vent. He is also known for producing some of the most sought-after cuvées, such as his Morgon Côte du Py, which is regarded as one of the best Beaujolais ever made.
Louis-Claude Desvignes is a winemaker from the Beaujolais region of France. He has made a name for himself as one of the best winemakers in the region and is known for producing some of the finest Beaujolais wines available. Desvignes has been producing wine in the Beaujolais region since the early 1980s and his wines have become increasingly popular over the years. Desvignes produces a range of different wines, including both red and white varieties. His red wines are typically made from the Gamay grape and are typically light in body with high levels of acidity and fruity aromas and flavors. His whites tend to be more aromatic and complex, often with a mineral-like finish. Desvignes is also known for producing sparkling wines, which are made by fermenting the must of Gamay grapes. Desvignes' wines are known for their high quality and complexity. His wines have been praised by many critics and have even won awards. His wines have been featured in some of the most prestigious wine publications, such as Wine Spectator and The World of Fine Wine.
In addition to its historical significance, Chateau Thivin also produces some of the best wines in the region. The estate is home to a variety of grapes, including Gamay and Chardonnay, and produces red, white, and sparkling wines. The Chateau itself is a beautiful 18th century building, surrounded by acres of vineyards and rolling hills. Visitors can take guided tours of the vineyard and winemaking process, and enjoy a tasting of the estate’s wines. The tasting room is located in the cellars of the Chateau, and visitors can sample a selection of the estate’s wines alongside a selection of local cheeses and charcuterie.
Marcel Lapierre is another highly respected producer in Beaujolais. He produces some of the region's most acclaimed wines, and his wines are known for their complex aromas and flavours.
Finally, Domaine Dupeuble is one of the top producers in Beaujolais. They produce a range of wines, from light and fruity to full-bodied and robust. Their wines are known for their balance, complexity, and character. These producers are some of the best in the region, and their wines are a testament to their skill and expertise. If you're looking for a unique and delicious bottle of Beaujolais, these producers are a great place to start.
How long can Beaujolais last?
Beaujolais Nouveau is to be drunk on release, the top Cru Beaujolais can last easily up to 10 years and beyond and evolves beautifully over that decade.
How do you serve Beaujolais?
Lighter Beaujolais can be served chilled and immediately from bottle, serious cru Beaujolais should be decanted and served at room temperature.
What is the terroir like in Beaujolais?
The terroir of Beaujolais is one of the defining characteristics of the region’s renowned wines. Beaujolais is a small region located in the south of Burgundy in Eastern France and is home to some of the world’s most well-known and beloved wines.
The terroir of Beaujolais is composed of a variety of different factors including the climate, soil, and geography of the region. All of these factors contribute to the unique character and flavour of Beaujolais wines. The climate of Beaujolais is warm and temperate due to its location in the Mediterranean region.
This climate is ideal for the production of Gamay grapes, which are the main grape variety used in the production of Beaujolais wines. In addition, the region receives plenty of sunshine in the summer months, which helps the grapes ripen. The soil of Beaujolais is composed of a variety of different soils, including clay and limestone.
This diverse soil composition gives Beaujolais wines their unique character and flavour. The clay helps to retain moisture and the limestone adds minerality and structure to the wines. In addition, the region is located in a valley, which helps to protect the vines from strong winds and frost.
The geography of Beaujolais is also an important factor in the terroir of the region’s wines. The region is located in the foothills of the Massif Central mountains and is marked by rolling hills and valleys. This topography helps to create unique microclimates, which can affect the flavour and character of the wines. In addition, the region’s proximity to the Rhône River also adds complexity to the wines, as the river can bring cooler temperatures to the vineyards.
All of these factors contribute to the unique terroir of Beaujolais, which is one of the main reasons why Beaujolais wines are so beloved around the world. The combination of the warm climate, diverse soil, and unique geography all come together to create the unique character and flavour of Beaujolais wines. If you’re looking for a unique and delicious wine experience, look no further than the terroir of Beaujolais.
How do you store Beaujolais?
Like all wine, Beaujolais should be stored in an environment with a humidity range between 50-80%, around 12 degrees Celsius in the absence of vibration, bad odours and UV light. Ideally in a cellar, more practically in a wine fridge.
What temperature is Beaujolais served at?
Young, simple Beaujolais, including most village and standard Beaujolais bottlings including Nouveau should be served slightly chilled (or straight from the wine fridge). Serious, cru Beaujolais can be served at room temperature. Some cru Beaujolais, like Fleurie, can also be served chilled.
Which foods pair with Beaujolais?
Beaujolais is (generally) a light-bodied red wine with bright acidity and hints of red fruits and spice. It pairs well with a variety of foods, including charcuterie, salmon, roasted vegetables, light pasta dishes, and mushrooms. It also goes well with dishes featuring tomatoes, olives, and herbs. Heaven is a good cru Beaujolais and a large plate of ham and cheese. Simple, yet divine.
Does Beaujolais age well?
Wine evolution and maturation depends on tannin and acid, tannins come from time on skins and time in oak, for that reason, standard, village or Beaujolais Nouveau do not age well and should be drunk upon release or within 1-2 years.
Cru Beaujolais, especially the very best bottlings from Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent can mature for 10 year plus.
Should Beaujolais be decanted?
Cru Beaujolais from the meatier cru yes (Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent etc) yes, otherwise, no need. The wine can be decanted for an hour or so to truly enjoy the wine at its fullest expression, especially if young. If the wine already has several years on it, use a wine decanter expressly for mature wine.
When is Beaujolais Nouveau day?
Beaujolais Nouveau day is celebrated on the third Thursday of November each year.
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