Monday, November 21, 2016

Beaujolais Masterclass with Geoff Kruth, M.S.

Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth hosted a GuildSomm Beaujolais Masterclass in Houston last month where he discussed the wine region of Beaujolais, the crus and presented tastes of what he considers to be some of the best wines from the region.

Beaujolais is located north of Lyon in eastern France. It is known for its granitic-based soils and fruity red wines made from the Gamay grape. It has ten crus that run from north to south.

The Wines:

  • Beaujolais-Villages Blanc, Dufaitre 2015 - The only white wine of the day, this dry Chardonnay-based wine had an interesting oxidized nuance with a slightly savory finish.
  • Beaujolais Dupeuble 2015 - Kruth called this red "a good, straight basic Beaujolais" made in the classic style with some structure and typical fruity and floral aromas with a banana leaf nuance.
  • Chiroubles Daniel Bouland 2015 - This red wine showed strawberry aromas and flavors and was a bit more tannic than is typical which Kruth said was vintage driven. He believes this wine will be even better next year. The higher elevations and pink granite sandy soils of this smaller cru typically contribute a more delicate floral note to the region's wines.

  • Brouilly Dufaitre 2014 - Dried cherry with a bit of a green walnut nuance due to some slight oxidation chosen by the winemaker created a texturally interesting wine that was less fruity than I was expecting.
  • Régnié "Grain & Granit" Charly Thévenet 2014 - The youngest of the crus, Régnié is known for producing more concentrated wines. In the glass, this biodynamic wine had mixed berry aromas and flavors with some earthiness and green notes.
  • Saint-Amour Pascal Berthier 2015 - This is the most northernly of the crus. This wine had the typical cherry liquor, cherry fruit, slightly spicy cherry deliciousness for which the area is known.

  • Fleurie "L'Alchimiste" Anne-Sophie Dubois 2014 - More complex with dark berries and peach and a bit more savory with a hint of a green or vegetal note.
  • Juliénas "Beauvernay" Domaine Chignard 2015 - From a riper vintage, this wine is fruitier and a bit more tannic than is typical from this mid-sized cru.
  • Côte de Brouilly Château Thivin 2015 - Spicier with white pepper notes over cranberry aromas with blackberry flavors, a bit more structured, more tannic. My favorite of the line-up.

  • Morgon "Vieilles Vignes" Guy Breton 2014 - From the second largest of the crus, this wine was an earthier style with a sour beer note.
  • Chénas "Aux Pierres" Granger 2013 - Kruth noted the "length and tension" on the palate with this wine. It is from the smallest of the crus and the wines are considered to be some of the best for aging in the region.
  • Moulin-à-Vent Château des Jacques 2013 - De-stemmed fruit, made more like a traditional Burgundy, this wine was decidedly different in style to the other red wines. Kruth felt this wine had the most age-ability. I liked the spicy notes.


Wines were tasted on Monday, October 24, 2016. All are recommended!
Follow this link to learn more about Beaujolais wines.