At the start of the new year, I went to the Beaujolais region to check out an estate that has been making headlines recently: the Cave de Julienas. I’d heard that the Saint Amour 2011 vintage was exceptional, gaining a 17/20 in the Bourgogne Aujourd’hui magazine.
Despite being winter, the weather on the Beaujolais hills was sunny, but cold and the views were fantastic. Not many people know that the 8 villages that make up the region are to be found in the beautiful hills a stone’s throw from the city of Macon.
This estate is in fact a “cave des producteurs” with a large selection of the Beaujolais villages: Fleurie, Morgon, Julienas, Moulin a Vent, Chenas, Chiroubles, Brouilly, etc. Vanessa the charming Manager was of a great help, the tasting free and generous.
I was particularly impressed with the Saint Amour and Fleurie 2011 vintages, with ripe fruits, smooth yet light tannins and great balance. The prices at 7.50 € the bottle is a snip compared to the Burgundy region!
Despite pre-conceived ideas about Beaujolais wines, they are easy to drink, generous in fruit and flavors and not to be compared or confused with Beaujolais Nouveau – a fun and highly marketed “en primeur” wine. They can be enjoyed with most food, all year round but are particularly appreciable when slightly chilled during the hot summer months.
This is above all a breath-takingly beautiful region, with scattered villages and vineyards across the hills and valleys. An ideal vacation spot, renting a cottage and sipping some chilled, fruity Beaujolais.