The Burgundy Diaries: 10/15/04 Beaujolais

Posted on: November 24th, 2004 by

I am tasting a couple of Cru Beaujolais from Morgon that we picked up yesterday. This Caveau Morgon had over 75 different vintages and producers. It was mind-blowing. Picked up an ’01 and a ’95 for less than 10 euros each and am tasting them now. Beaujolais is beautiful….Huge rolling hills with vines on every aspect of the hills. No wonder they produce so much wine. Began when we met Julien (from Cuvage de Monternot, owned by Mommessin) at the exit and drove to see Stephan Aviron, who has a joint venture there with Nicholas. He popped a couple bottles of ’03 white, a Beaujolais Blanc and a Pouilly-Fuisse. Five of us drank the two bottles, me on an empty stomach. He poured us giant glasses. Then we went to this awesome restaurant, full of life, very rustic. Had another glass while we waited for our table. Ate the eggs poached in red wine, but without the lardons and mushrooms. Drank it with the wine (red, chilled Beaujolais) the cook makes. He cooks, then heads to the vineyards, and also races motorcycles (Ducati). He showed us a picture of him in a racing magazine. Then we ate steak au poive…not the best steak, but the sauce was perfect. Then a selection of four cheeses—two goat, one extremely mild and pleasant blue, and a brie-like cheese. The chef gave Justin a bottle of his Cuvee Racer with a label showing a dude on a Ducati.

We then ended up in the tourist office in Fleurie and they were nice enough to call a producer who we have tasted a few old bottles…Clos de Roilette. Tasted some powerful ‘03s and an ’01. There were a ton of fruit flies there. The bug zapper was going nonstop. Nice experience just talking French with a little winemaker. Then we also drove up to the top of a large hill (400 meters) in Fleurie where they had a small chapel with a statue of the Madonna at the top. Panoramic views, very beautiful. Julien told us the church was built when phylloxera struck in the 19th century and the vines were dying and they did not know why. They hoped that Madonna would help them, high above the vines on her perch.

Then tasted some wines with Julien where he works. 2003 was his first time in Beaujolais and his first vintage. The wines had a lot of power and structure for Gamay, and he was told to make them Burgundian…no carbonic maceration. Bravo. Ended the evening in Julian’s small apartment, literally steps away from a vineyard. Ate paste with his Nana’s homemade roasted tomato sauce and we peeled a bunch of apples from trees he prunes and have been organic for 30 years, three different kinds. Sat around and talked about wine and life and it was cool.

*Although I have one more entry in my journal, I think that is an appropriate place to end the story. Back to wine reviews and musings, stat!*

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