Everyone should be drinking some 2009 Cru Beaujolais right now.  Don’t confuse Cru Beaujolais, or even the region of Beaujolais for that matter with Beaujolais Nouveau, the quickly made, cheaply sold, mass market wine from the Beaujolais that is released every fall.  That stuff is a mass marketing gimmick that has dragged the good name of Beaujolais through the mud and left it with little credibility and even less real understanding of the great wines produced there.  Because the “Cru” Beaujolais have been under the radar for so long they are often incredible bargains for the relatively low prices which they fetch.  Not only that, with the 2009 vintage we are sitting on a gold mine as it is one of the finest vintages ever in Beaujolais.  The wines have a magical combination of surprising depth coupled with easy approachability.  Add to this their reasonable prices which top out at under $40, a place where most Burgundies start.  And I can assure you that the top end of Beaujolais is far more interesting than the bottom end of Burgundy.  Most of these wines in fact roll in for far less that $40.  One last point, Cru Beaujolais can pair with just about any type of cuisine you can throw at them.  Fish, yes.  Meats, check.  Cheeses, sure.  Pizza, of course.  And the list goes on.  NY Times Eric Asimov does a similar recap on 2009 Cru Beaujolais as well that is worth checking out here.

Look for wines bearing the mark of a great importer to guide you if you are unfamiliar with Cru Beaujolais.  Louis Dressner, Kermit Lynch, Peter Wygandt, and Neal Rosenthal are all good starting points.  And get familiar with a short list of some of the Cru’s:  Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Juliénas, Saint-Amour, Chénas, Moulin a Vent, Brouilly, etc.  Made from the Gamay grape, the Cru Beaujolais wines are approachable upon release, but most will do well with short to medium term cellaring.  They are widely available and I have basically just been picking up a bottle or two here and there at my favorite shops and trying them.

D. Coquelet 2009 Chiroubles ~ $21.00

Purple/violet translucent in color, this Chiroubles has a great tart dark berry fruit character.  There are hints of smoke, earth, minerals, fresh herbs, and cassis present as well.  Delicious.  Purchased at Thirst Wine Merchants.  RECOMMENDED

Jean Foillard 2009 Morgon “Cuvée Corcelette” ~ $35.00

Red garnet in color.  Tart berries mix with a plush red fruit character.  There are great hints of pepper, smoke, earth, minerals, and dark chocolate.  A refined Morgon.  Excellent.  Purchased at Thirst Wine Merchants.  RECOMMENDED

Terres Dorees (Jean-Paul Brun) 2009 Morgon ~ $21.00

Upon opening there are subtle flavors of fresh plums, cinnamon spice, and fruit cake.  There are some light tannins here and the wine remained a bit closed on the first night.   But on the second day it was singing.  It had really come alive and there was a great anise seed component that had emerged along with the dark berry fruit.  This wine needs air and time.  Purchased at Chambers Street Wines.  RECOMMENDED

Terres Dorees (Jean-Paul Brun) 2009 Cote de Brouilly ~ $21.00

Violet and purple tinged in color, there is a nose of ripe fruit reminiscent of blueberry and cassis.  In the mouth there are further notes of violets with moderate tannins.  A very pure fruit expression here.  Purchased at Chambers Street Wines.  RECOMMENDED

You have heard of Beaujolais, now its time to find out what this stuff is really all about.