Recently Tasted Beaujolais from 2014, 2015, and 2016: Brun/Terres Dorées, Château Cambon, J. Chamonard, Chermette, Coutert, Dupeuble, Églantine/Grillet, Guiginer/Amethystes, Janin

I continue to be impressed by the majority of 2015 wines I taste from this region -- they are ripe, but they have a freshness and liveliness than the 2009s generally lacked. 

2014 is a fairly classic vintage, but often the wines lack generosity.

2016 is looking good for many of the wines, but because of the severely reduced crops in some areas due to hail and/or frost, some of the wines seem too concentrated.




Jean-Paul BRUN/TERRES DORÉES

2015 Moulin-à-Vent
 Brun’s Moulin-à-Vent is a stellar example of the vintage at its best: Fresh, crushed cassis fruit in a medium-weight body with outstanding intensity, depth, and balance. Drink with pleasure now or in 10-15+ years. 13% stated alcohol. Lot L 0001. 92/A



Château CAMBON

2015 Beaujolais
This producer is one of the darlings of the low/no-SO2 crowd. It is good Beaujolais with a silky texture and fresh red and dark berry fruits. 13.5% stated alcohol. Lot LBO 1609. 88/A



Domaine J. CHAMONARD
2015 Morgon   Le Clos de Lys
Along with Michel Lapierre, Joseph Chamonard was one of the original followers of Jules Chauvet with minimal intervention. He died in 1990 and the estate has since been carried on by his daughter and her husband, Geneviève and Jean-Claude Chanudet. This wine is pure and nervy in a medium-weight body with spicy dark berry fruit. Lot L 15.01. 13.5% stated alcohol.  91/A



Pierre-Marie CHERMETTE

2015 Moulin-à-Vent     Les Trois Roches
This wine is a combination of three vineyards with the name “Roche” in them: Rochegrès, Rochelle, Roche Noire; hence, the name. The wine is dense and velvety with dark fruits and quite a bit of power. The body is medium-weight. Some Moulin-à-Vents can age for many decades, especially from ripe vintages, but this one is so enjoyable now, I’d opt to consume it over the next 5-10 years. 13.5% stated alcohol.  91+/A



COUDERT Père & Fils

2014 Fleurie      Clos de la Roilette      Griffe du Marquis
This wine is from parcels planted in 1930 (which are also used for the estate’s cuvée tardive bottling). The wine has density of texture but also is balanced. There’s freshness here to go with dark berry fruit and some minerality. This is a wine meant to take aging in the cellar before being consumed. The reference to “Marquis" is to the name of the owner’s parents, not to any aristocratic background. 13% stated alcohol. Lot L0001. 91(+)/A

2015 Fleurie    Clos de la Roilette     Cuvée Tardive
If you want a standard to measure just how great Beaujolais can be, here’s one wine to try. This wine from very old vines is bottled later than the standard Clos de la Roilette. It is dark, dense, velvety, and deep with precise, fresh dark berry fruit and great length. Drink or hold. 13% stated alcohol. Lot L 0001. 93/A



Domaine DUPEUBLE Père & Fils

2016 Beaujolais
This is a really fine Beaujolais at a great price for its quality. The wine is medium-weight and intense in its fresh iron-tinged dark berry fruit with good acidity and penetration. 13.5% stated alcohol. 88/A



Domaine de l’ÉGLANTINE/Martine et Jean-Paul GRILLET

2016 Morgon
I was very impressed by the 2015 version of this wine, but the successor is rather standard with imprecise dark fruits and not much depth. It’s not bad, but hardly what I expect from cru Beaujolais. Certified organic. 12.5% stated alcohol.  86/C



Michel GUIGNIER/Domaine des AMETHYSTES

2016 Brouilly   Les Amethystes
Although I liked previously-reviewed 2016s from this producer, this one seems perhaps too concentrated in its crushed cassis fruit and unpleasantly bitter on the finish. It is medium-weight and shows some tannin, too. Lot L 39. 12.5% stated alcohol. 86/C



Paul JANIN

A trio of beauties from my favorite Moulin-à-Vent producer. Although the bottles bear no certification, it is my understanding that the estate is run organically and that at least part of the estate is biodynamic.

2015 Moulin-à-Vent    Vignes de Tremblay
The Vignes de Tremblay is dense and concentrated with pure crushed cassis aromas and flavors. You can drink it now but this is a wine that still has decades of future ahead of it. 13.5% stated alcohol.  92/A

2015 Moulin-à-Vent    “Héritage"
This is a tiny bit richer and riper than the Vignes de Tremblay, but very close in style with crushed cassis and violet aromas and flavors. 14% stated alcohol. 92/A

2015 Moulin-à-Vent    Les Grenerières
The Grenerières is from 100+ year-old vines. It is riper still (although not overripe) with plenty of tannin below the dark fruits. This is not a wine to drink now, but rather one to put in the cellar for 10-15 years. 14.5% stated alcohol. 90(+)/A-