Not far in our rear view mirrors sits 2009, the “Vintage of the Sun.” Well, that’s what the King of Beaujolais, Georges DuBoeuf, named it after a very warm, long Summer growing season. Before us stands the terrific 2011 vintage, one where poise, balance, and finesse supplant the explosive fruit of the 2009s. There’s no denying the fun to be found in a bottle of 2009 Cru Beaujolais, that’s not the argument. What we do love is variety, complexity, and, of course, raw quality, so let’s compare the 2011s to their predecessors.
When we tasted through an array of 2011 Cru wines, we were taken by the juxtaposition of similar, yet contrary, characteristics of the 2011s to the 2009s. Both enjoy fat fruit, dense, broad palates, and seemingly plenty of “wind in the sails” for cellar ageing. Where they differ is an important line of distinction. 2009s were, to a one, voluptuously sexy wines: Ruben’s Muse sat among the vines in 2009 and simply oozed sensuality into the grapes. 2011s are, also to a one, gracefully sexy wines: Botticelli’s Muse is having her turn.
We have purchased a handful of particularly delicious wines from the 2011 vintage, all of which can be found below, and most of which received some sort of critical review. Let it be said that “we told you so” before you give all the credit to the critics!
A primer on “Cru Beaujolais”
Within the larger region of Beaujolais lie ten villages producing unique versions of the Gamay grape. These village’s vineyards have been recognized as having unique characteristics that set them apart from the greater region: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié, and Saint-Amour.
The styles of each range from light, red wines through full-bodied, red wines that could pass for their Northern, Pinot Noir cousins in the Côte d’Or.
Coudert 2011 Fleurie “Clos de la Roilette” Buy Here
Domaine des Terres Dorées 2011 Côte de Brouilly Buy Here
DuBoeuf 2011 Fleurie Flower Label Buy Here
DuBoeuf 2011 Morgon Jean Descombes Buy Here
Thivin 2011 Côte de Brouilly Buy Here