Press coverage

Photo credit: Ted Axelrod

This $15 gamay will go great with what’s on the grill

The Washington Post – August 19th 2017

“How to wash down the end-of-summer grilling season? With gamay, of course. The red grape of Beaujolais makes terrific wines with great fruit flavors, a medium body ideal for summer (with a slight chill) and a hint of smoke that echoes that aroma from the grill.

Henry Fessy Domaine de la Pierre, Moulin-a-Vent 2015

Beaujolais, France, $19

“An excellent Beaujolais (gamay) from an outstanding vintage, this lovely wine offers aromas and flavors of smoky cherries, wild herbs and a cool summer evening.”

Dave McIntyre

Should You Care About a Wine’s Vintage?

Bon appétit – August 10th 2017

“Beaujolais is the wine that changed my life, and over the years I have come to know its juicy flavor profile of tart red fruits very intimately. It is bright and poppy, and like raspberry Pop Rocks with crunchy green leaves and silky smoke wafting in on a salty breeze. It is all the things I never knew a wine could be growing up around big, bold California Cabernets. If you can have soulmates in wine, Beaujolais is mine.”

Marissa A. Ross

New Beaujolais, but Not Nouveau

The New York Times – April 6th 2017

“The Beaujolais revival has been one of the most inspiring wine stories of the 21st century. […] Almost all the attention paid to the Beaujolais revival has focused on the so-called crus, the 10 appellations in the hilly northern part of the region that are not only regarded as capable of making the best wines, but also offer the most distinctive terroirs. Their names alone — Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié and St.-Amour — inspire mouthwatering thirst.”

Eric Asimov

The True Charms of Aged Beaujolais By John Mariani

Huffington Post – August 4th 2017

“Since the 1990s the better Beaujolais have come from vineyards brought to modern standards of viticulture, especially in those appellations granted status as Beaujolais-Villages, whose wines must have a minimum of 10 percent alcohol and now constitute about one-quarter of total production. Overall the region produces about 13 million cases of Beaujolais annually. The best Beaujolais, whose alcohol tilts more towards 13 percent, come from ten regulated crus—Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliènas, Moulin-à- Vent, Morgon, Saint-Amour, and Régnié—usually costing between $10-$15 a bottle”

John Mariani

Craving red wine this summer? Beaujolais crus offer inexpensive yet vibrant flavors

The Kansas City Star – Jul 27th 2017

“I’m not talking about Beaujolais Nouveau, those November bottlings meant to be served chilled and drank immediately. No, in the dog days of summer, I turn to the Beaujolais crus, which run the gamut from light and floral to full-bodied and substantial. It’s rare to find any Beaujolais crus above $30 a bottle, and many, if you’re a savvy shopper, can be had for around $20, making the wines among the best value in the market.”

“The crus of Beaujolais can be found in ten appellations that represent the best of the region. The folks in Beaujolais like to categorize all the Beaujolais appellations in three flavor and aroma profiles: fruity and delicious, fine and flavored, and intense and generous.”

Dave Eckert

How Beaujolais Cru Is Remaking The Reputation Of An Entire Wine Region

Forbes – July 11th 2017

“Much of the growing success of Beaujolais Cru has to do with a new generation of sommeliers and beverage directors who look to populate their wine lists with bottlings that offer quality, value, and terroir-specificity—a combination that is not necessarily all that easy to find but that Beaujolais Cru tends to have in abundance. In addition, younger wine drinkers—especially the much-discussed millennial generation—are clamoring ever more passionately for wines that are unique to their area of production, and that possess a story that allows them to build some sort of connection with them. Which is exactly what Beaujolais Cru does.”

Brian Freedman

Move Over Rosé: Refreshing Summer-Ready Red Wines

Vogue – July 5th 2017

“French Beaujolais (usually made from Gamay grapes) is a solid bet during summer for its fruit-forward, light-bodied palate. “Gamay grapes are more revealing when slightly chilled [around 49–50 degrees Fahrenheit] and a good companion for grilled meat,” says Nico Giraud, wine director at Spoon and Stable as well as Bellecour (both in Minneapolis). He’s a fan of the 2015 Beaujolais-Villages from Clotaire Michal. “It offers pretty aromas of black cherries, cranberry, fresh herbs, and a touch of licorice spice—all with a hint of minerality. Serve it with skewers of chicken tossed in piment d’Espelette with red pepper and tomatoes, and a salad of mâche and cranberries with a red wine vinegar dressing, and you have an easy, healthy dinner,” says Giraud.”

Kristine Hansen

20 Wines Under $20: The Savory Side of Rosé

The New York Times – June 22 th 2017

“JEAN-PAUL BRUN BEAUJOLAIS ROSÉ LE ROSÉ D’FOLIE 2016 $15.96
I am a fan of just about anything Jean-Paul Brun produces, from his cru Beaujolais to his straightforward Beaujolais L’Ancien Vieilles Vignes and Beaujolais Blanc to this lovely rosé, made of gamay mostly from young vines. The wine, a gorgeous shade of pale cherry, is softly fruity with a lively, stony core. Refreshing and to the point.”
Eric Asimov

Cru Beaujolais Has a Rock-Solid Future

Wine Enthusiast – June 13th 2017

“I’ve tasted Beaujolais’s future, and it is good. The wines of this oft-maligned region are changing fast. A renewed emphasis on quality is propelling these 100-percent Gamay wines onto the radar screens of collectors and drinkers alike. And the crus—the villages in the north of the region—are leading the way. […]
Of the 10 crus, the five you’re most likely to find are Juliénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Morgon and Brouilly. The others are Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Régnié and Saint-Amour.”

“Wines from these crus can stand against many fine Burgundies, and at a fraction of the price. They have fruit, structure and ageability, yet are easy to drink upon release. What more could any wine drinker ask?”

Roger Voss

BEAUJOLAIS WINE IS IN BLOOM

Snooth – June 9th 2017

“The top ‘cru’ wines come from the granite schist vineyards of Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Julienas, Moulin-a-Vent, Chenas, St. Armour and Regnie, all ten wines being named after their ‘cru’ villages. Although the “Top Ten” are generally drunk young, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent from a good winemaker generally have a little more oouumpph and will reward a few years in your cellar. Fleurie and Julienas are probably the best known labels and therefore carry a premium, especially in restaurants. So, be adventurous and try one of the other crus and save a few dollars at the same time!”

John Downes

Drink rosé, Beaujolais and more to celebrate GaMay

The Washington Post – May 13th 2017

“GREAT VALUE”

Laurent Martray “Combiaty” Brouilly Vieilles Vignes 2015

Beaujolais, France, $23

Once again, repeat after me: 2015 was a great vintage in France, especially for regions that sometimes struggle to get their wines tasting fully ripe. Beaujolais had a banner year in ’15, and this Brouilly, which is always good, simply shines. Think dark cherry, tobacco and, well, steak or a burger. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

Maison Henry Fessy Beaujolais-Villages Vieilles Vignes 2015

Beaujolais, France, $11

Beaujolais is a great “bistro wine,” the type you would find by the glass or pitcher in a restaurant near your hotel in Paris. It’s a great house wine here at home, too, because of its ability to match a wide variety of foods. And 2015 was a great vintage. This wine offers dark cherry flavors and hints of smoke and earth.”
Dave McIntyre

Cru Beaujolais Has Its Day to Shine

Wine-Searcher – May 10th 2017

“The Beaujolais Crus are a superb bargain in Burgundy in terms of both cost and consistency. “There were a flurry of people talking about it as ‘affordable Burgundy’ but [we are] seeing that much less [these day],” adds Insel. She also notes that consumers are still just beginning to learn about the Beaujolais category and to understand what sub-appellations such as Villages and Cru are.”
[…]
“Part of the appeal of the Beaujolais Crus in is how well they pair with food. They are among the most flexible reds in the business and their high acidity and gracious fruity and mineral notes have made them some of the most-favored wines by sommeliers all over the dining world.”

Liza B. Zimmerman

7 Seriously Good Bottles of Beaujolais for Spring Drinking

Food & Wine – May 5th 2017

“[…] Engaged drinkers now associate Beaujolais with the hand-crafted wines of the region’s crus (the top-quality villages of Morgon, Fleurie, Juliénas, Chénas, Chiroubles, Régnié, St-Amour, Moulin-à-Vent, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly). The appeal of Cru Beaujolais goes deeper than simply championing an underdog, though. Due to the work of a small group of growers in the ’80s and early ’90s, the area is seen as the birthplace of modern day “low-to-no sulfur” winemaking. Those pioneers turned out Gamay-based bottles with as much character and depth of flavor as some of the greatest Burgundies, spurring excitement in two spheres simultaneously. Sommeliers facing skyrocketing Burgundy prices loved them for their comparative value. And a burgeoning natural wine scene embraced the category as its calling card.”

Carson Demmond

Today’s Beaujolais

Napa Valley Register – April 27th 2017

“While many think of Beaujolais as a summer wine (no argument here) they are also a treat throughout the year when paired with a wide range of cuisine, especially spicy dishes, cold roast chicken and others served at cooler temperatures so popular today. The rebirth of classic Beaujolais is definitely a trend in the market supported by the aggressive vineyard investment of Burgundian and other prestigious producers, along with the newly energized passion and commitment from the stalwarts of the area.”

Allen Balik

A French red that is the first to vanish from the cellar

The Boston Globe – March 24th 2017

“At my house, it’s easy to identify our go-to pours. They never languish on the downstairs wine rack, even when we purchase a case. One such bottle is a 2015 Domaine Emile Cheysson “Clos Les Farges” Chiroubles. This charming red hails from Beaujolais, in France, whose granite hills are situated south of Burgundy’s Macon, just inside the boundaries of the Rhone departement. This pour should not be confused with Beaujolais Nouveau, released just weeks after harvest and designed for immediate quaffing. Nor should this bottle’s gamay grapes be mistaken for the everyday fruit grown on the region’s flatter, more southerly, land. This bottle is cru Beaujolais, crafted in one of 10 villages (including Moulin-a-Vent, Morgon, and Brouilly), each of which is allowed to put its name on the front label.”

Ellen Bhang

OUR GUIDE TO CHOOSING REDS, WHITES, AND BUBBLIES FOR YOUR WEDDING

VinePair – March 16th 2017

Gamay from Beaujolais
Choosing a Gamay-based wine from Beaujolais is a safe choice; look to one of the 10 crus for wines of higher quality. Cru Beaujolais is light enough on the palate to be consumed without food, yet also pairs well with an array of hors d’oeuvres, vegetables, and chicken-based dishes.”

VinePair Staff

Riesling and Beaujolais Lead the St. Patrick’s Day Wine Parade

Grape Experiences – March 15th 2017

“If red wine is your go-to choice, request a glass of Beaujolais from France. Light bodied and fruit forward, this lovely wine is produced from the Gamay grape. Because Beaujolais is so approachable, it’s perfect to drink on its own and […] its rather high acidity slices right through the fat of any Irish dish. You’ll love each sip as a flavorful pairing with Colcannon (boiled cabbage and potatoes), a plate of rich Irish cheeses, or the corned beef special on the menu.”

Cindy Rynning

The $20 Challenge

Wine Spectator, February 21st 2017

I’ve long been on record as loving cru Beaujolais, which are the 10 districts in the larger Beaujolais region that collectively offer the prospect of the highest quality.

There’s only one problem: Beaujolais prices, especially for the best wines, are rapidly sailing past the $20 price point, especially for wines from the latest-and-greatest 2015 vintage. But there still are, and will continue to be for the next few years, new or less well-known producers who continue to sell their wines for what I happily concede are undervalued prices. High-quality deals are still to be found in cru Beaujolais from two very good vintages, 2014 and 2015.

The Lazy Foodie’s Guide to Pairing Takeout and Wine

Vogue.com, February 9th 2017

Chinese food is far more complex than the prevalence of Kung Pao Chicken on most Americanized menus attests. Christoph Eder, general manager of The Source by Wolfgang Puck in Washington, D.C., encourages springing for a bottle of wine. For an addictive round of dumplings, especially seafood ones, he suggests the made-in-Austria “Tradition” Grüner Veltliner from Schloss Gobelsburg. “The wine is crisp with enough body to complement both rich lobster and delicate shrimp,” he explains. For XO sauce–laced noodle concoctions and carnivorous specialties like lacquered duck, underrated Beaujolais comes to the rescue: Stéphane Aviron’s earthy Morgon Côte du Py, for example, “has red berry flavors and soft tannins” that only complements what’s packed inside those white paperboard containers.

Have you been drinking wines before their time?

The Washington Post, January 7th 2017

My eyes also gravitated to one of my favorite French regions, Beaujolais. These wines, from the gamay grape, are fun, food-friendly and consistently underrated. When Georges Duboeuf, the so-called “king of Beaujolais,” visited Washington last spring, he told me 2015 had been the best vintage for the region since the 1940s. Wine Enthusiast agrees, rating the Beaujolais vintage at 96 points out of 100, or superb, and giving us permission to drink these wines now, even though they should improve for at least a few years. (We are advised to “hold” most other European reds and several whites.)

Beaujolais cru wines, those named for various villages throughout the region, are just beginning to reach the market. The few I’ve tasted have been outstanding, and I’ll be on the alert for more throughout the year. One of my favorite Beaujolais importers, Falls Church-based Wine Traditions, has yet to bring in any 2015 Beaujolais cru, so there is much to anticipate.

Catch the Gamay Rays from Beaujolais (All Under $20)

Best Wines Under 20, December 27th 2016

The region of Beaujolais is actually a part of the broader and very highly regarded Bourgogne, or as we call it in America, Burgundy. It’s a wine region that has staked its fortune on one grape, Gamay, or Gamay Noir and while Beaujolais Nouveau certainly gets a lot of publicity, the Cru Beaujolais (which are ten different sub-regions within Beaujolais), make amazing and unique wines of depth and complexity. Beaujolais wines age wonderfully, pair perfectly with food and are priced very, very fairly. If you love the Pinot Noirs of Burgundy but can’t swing the price-tag you will find plenty to like in Beaujolais, wines that are light, lively and food friendly at a fraction of the price.

Beaujolais Isn’t Nouveau for the In-the-Know

The Wall Street Journal, December 14th 2016

Unlike Nouveau wines, which are more often than not simple, crus can be quite distinguished and complex. Beaujolais Nouveau should be opened immediately; cru wines can be long-lived. David Lilllies, co-owner of Chambers Street Wines in New York, advises clients to cellar certain cru Beaujolais for years – although they can also be enjoyed in their youth. And now is a particularly good time to pursue these wines, whether to drink today or keep for later, thanks to two very good vintages (2014 and 2015) and an abundance of reasonably priced bottles.

International Wine Review, August/September 2016

Beaujolais is in a state of transition. Its reputation for inexpensive, easy drinking Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau is changing to include a renewed appreciation and recognition for its elegant Crus expressive of their terroir. Innocuous wines produced by many negociants and cooperatives are slowly being replaced by unique estate and vineyard designated ones. Young winemakers with international experience wishing to make wines from special places are able to purchase underpriced vineyards of very old vines and then craft unique, terroir-driven wines.

Cosmopolitan, July 2016

This fictional story features a group of friends and former college bandmates approaching their 50s, living in Brooklyn, and trying to sort out the many relationships in their lives. So naturally, you’ll want to drink something fresh and calm to go with it. McMartin suggests Beaujolais, a light-bodied red that goes great with summer food. “It’s something you would find on a French wine list in a really cool hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Brooklyn where everybody’s cooler than you,” McMartin says. If you don’t feel like trekking to a restaurant, McMartin says you can also head to a decent neighborhood wine shop and ask for Beaujolais that’s a little nicer than Beaujolais Nouveau; they’ll hook you up.

Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, June 2016

Pinot Noir is now the iPhone of fine wine. It likely has reached market saturation and very likely cannot significantly grow sales, at least at the prices being asked now. So what next? I think the answer to that question is Gamay Noir. It’s in the same Burgundian mode as Pinot Noir. (Technically, the Beaujolais zone, which is all about Gamay Noir)

Nick Passmore, Forbes, July 10, 2015

Katie Bell, Forbes, January 1, 2015

Hoke Harden, Examiner, May 10, 2014

Marlynn, Urban Bliss Life, April 30, 2014

Jameson Fink, Grape Collective, April 17, 2014

Eric Asimov, The New York Times, April 7, 2014

Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, February 28, 2014

Forbes, Katie Kelly Bell, February 11, 2014

Eric Asimov, The New York Times, April 4, 2013

Bill St. John, The Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2012

“[Gamay] undergirds all the delicious, aromatic reds of the Beaujolais … perhaps the most underrated red wine region of the globe.”

Lisa Airey, The Baltimore Sun, June 15, 2012

“Serious Beaujolais are take-no-prisoners, true-grit sorts that redefine the Gamay grape. If you are looking for wines with guts and stuffing that are not heavy, tannic or saturated with oak, look no further. These wines balance power with finesse and concentration with elegance.”

Jameson Fink, Foodista, June 12, 2012

“If you only know Beaujolais from the annual Nouveau celebration, you are missing out on some of the most charming and under-appreciated red wines in the world.”

Hoke Harden, The Examiner, June 11, 2012

“Gamay (technically, its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc) has always been lauded for its freshness and vivacity. Combine that with a style of winemaking popular in Beaujolais, partial carbonic maceration … and you have a unique style of exuberantly fruity red wine.”