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VOL. 126 | NO. 65 | Monday, April 4, 2011



Explore Taste of Beaujolais with Louis Jadot ’09

FREDRIC KOEPPEL | Special to The Memphis News

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I’ll make this little lesson about the hierarchy of Beaujolais – Education Alert! – brief and painless. First, geography: The Beaujolais region lies south of Burgundy in eastern France, not touching Burgundy proper because areas called Maconnais and Chalonnais fall between, but all of this can be understood as extensions of similar topography.

So, the wines of Beaujolais – the red gamay is the only grape allowed – are divided into three categories: 1) The basic wines are designated just Beaujolais; 2) A step up, and made from specified areas within the region, are wines labeled Beaujolais-Villages; 3) The best wines of Beaujolais are named for one of 10 communes valued highly enough in tradition and quality that only the name of the commune appears on the label, as in Fleurie, Morgon, Brouilly and so on.

The alluring color of the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages 2009 is deep ruby shading to magenta at the rim. Aromas of blackberries and black raspberries offer hints of mint and iodine, rose hips and violets and, after a few moments in the glass, notes of dried herbs, leather and graphite-like minerality.

For Your Very Own Bottle

Pyramid Liquors
120 Auction Ave., $13
Spirits Unlimited
3024 Covington Pike, $13
Stellar Cellar Wine & Spirits
9005 U.S. Highway 64, $13

2009 is a special vintage for Beaujolais, and this bouquet reveals how special the wines can be. Black and red fruit flavors are rich and spicy, and the wine displays unexpected depths of character and structure. Looking ahead, this would be a great wine to serve with Easter dinner.

The wine is widely available in the region, giving me a chance to highlight three retail stores I don’t often mention rather than the Usual Suspects.

For more about wine, check out Koeppel’s blog at www.biggerthanyourhead.net.

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