Beaujolais v Beaune

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 — Fortunately, Beaujolais ain’t what it used to be. Many people still associate Beaujolais with dodgy student parties, and the craze for Beaujolais Nouveau that took off in the sixties in a tide of thin, candy‐confected, juice distantly related to wine. Like all fads, this passed, and the Beaujolais began to regroup, led by a few enthusiasts who had not sold out to the industrial production methods. There was a return to traditional farming and winemaking, with lower volumes of much better quality product, now recognizable as wine. Things really took off in the new millennium, assisted by climate change and riper fruit.

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Savvy wine enthusiasts have always known that the “Cru” Beaujolais from the top communes (such as Morgon, Juienas, Moulin‐a‐Vent, etc) made by traditional producers are always good value – especially compared to the rich relations to the North. But too
often people still thought of those wines as being more or less for current drinking. However, the best examples do in fact benefit from moderate aging (5 to 15+ years), which brings out the complexities of these wines.

Our tasting features four top Crus Beaujolais between seven and thirteen years of age alongside four Beaunes with five and six years of age, so you can make your own comparison. Do the Crus Beaujolais, made from the Gamay grape, have complexity to match the Côte de Beaune Pinots Noirs?

Our Beaujolais line‐up starts with the 2012 Morgon Côte de Py from Jadot. Morgon, and especially Côte de Py, is the most serieux Cru in Beaujolais with a tannic structure that, with age, approaches red Burgundy. This wine, at seven years, is just entering its mature phase but has a probably a decade ahead of it.

We then move to a set of three wines from Moulin‐a‐Vent. First is the 2010 Domaine Labruyère Le Clos du Moulin‐a‐Vent. This is a Monopole producing fine, long‐lived wines – LeClos can age for 15 years or more. Domaine Labruyère is one of the oldest producers in the commune. 2010 was somewhat overshadowed by the near-perfect 2009 but in the words of Jancis Robinson MW: “Dark color pigments in the skins have ensured deep, rich colors while the overall style of the 2010 Beaujolais wines is a fascinating crunchy‐fruit freshness combined with excellent depth.” As such the wine should be drinking well now, with hints of what is to come.

Next, we have two Moulins‐a‐Vents from Jadot. The first is the 2009 Clos des Rochegrès Château des Jacques. Rated 17.5 – “tingle‐issimo” (!) – by Jancis Robinson (“superior” plus) this is a big, concentrated, wine now nearing its peak. It may be the one that most surpasses the popular image of Gamay. Finally, we have the 2006 Champ du Cour to show us a wine near the end of its journey.

We have elaborated on the Beaujolais as they may be less familiar to some of you. The Beaunes wines are in more familiar territory. All four are 1er Cru. First, 2013 Chanson Beaune Bressandes. Rated 17.5 by Julia Harding MW, “seductive… firm framework… and freshness,” this should be a treat. Chanson has been on a roll since its revival. This pairs with another Chanson 2013, the Pernand‐Vergelesses. Next is 2014 Domaine Jessiaume Les Cents Vignes (a value deal at this level, recently in the LCBO). The 2013 Domaine Poulleau Côte de Beaune “Les Mondes Rondes” rounds out the line-up. All of these are just entering their drinking window and will be excellent comparators for the Beaujolais.

We are pleased to have Alex Powel as our speaker for this event. He is well known to us as an enthusiastic member of Toronto Winetasters, and also as an advanced sommelier in Toronto. He has worked in some of the city’s top restaurants over the last nine, years including Lee, and most recently as head sommelier of Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, where he built the 800 label program for its opening. After leading the sommelier team for a year, he left the restaurant to prepare for the Master Sommelier exam.

Alex has been on a quest to drink through all the hallowed vineyards of Burgundy since near the beginning of his love affair with wine, trading financial security for bottle after bottle of supposedly ‘grand cru’. After years of savings spent, things came to a head when a 15-year‐old bottle of $18 Beaujolais was served to him blind; he confidently declared it to be Volnay! Ever since, at his table, he’s pitted Burgundy against Beaujolais.

List of wines:

  • 2014 Domaine Jessiaume Beaune 1er Cru‐ Les Cent Vignes
  • 2013 Domaine Chanson Pernand Vergelesses Premier Cru
  • 2013 Domaine Chanson Beaune Bressandes 1er Cru
  • 2013 Domaine Poulleau Côte de Beaune “Les Mondes Rondes”
  • 2012 Morgon Côte du Py ‐ Jadot
  • 2010 Domaine Labruyère Le Clos du Moulin‐a‐Vent
  • 2009 Jadot Moulin‐a‐Vent de Rochegrès Château des Jacques
  • 2006 Moulin‐a‐Vent Champ do Cour Jadot


Date: June, 26th, 2019
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Limit: 60 people
Members: $85*
Guests: $99*

*Price including HST

North York Memorial Community Hall
5110 Yonge St. (under library)
North York Centre Subway

GST/HST account: 844742619 RT0001
Business Name: Winetasters Society of Toronto

No cancellation refunds. Inquiries — (Cindy Taylor, 416.458.3147 evenings only). No reservations by phone, please. No mail confirmations will be issued — you will be contacted only if we are sold out. First, come basis.