The amazing 2009 vintage of Beaujolais wines are about to hit Chicagoland and I was fortunate enough to taste them at a Blackbird Restaurant wine luncheon. For this event, Chef Paul Kahan would be pairing dishes with '09 Georges DuBoeuf selections: Beajolais-Villages, Morgon, Fleurie, Julienas and Moulin-a-Vent.
Beaujolais wines come from southern Burgundy, just north of Lyon. They're made from the Gamay varietal which is known for it's thin skin, low tannins, high acidity and loads of fruit flavor. Be sure to watch for my upcoming post about the different growing regions and production.
We started with the '09 DuBoeuf Beajolais-Villages ($10), made from grapes grown in the northern half of Beajolais. The higher tannins in this wine is the highlight of the vintage and was quite surprising- it makes an interesting combination of not just being extremely drinkable, but also great with food. It's total harmony of ripe acidity, full fruit, fresh herbs and the 2009 vintage tannins. Here's a bit more about the vintage from winemaker Emeric Gaucher:
Emeric and I also talked about what some of his favorite wines are and he really loves Syrah/Shiraz, especially from Côte-Rôtie and Barossa. He gets chances to visit many vineyards throughout the world and is really looking forward to an Australian trip.
As far as the lunch went, everything went well with the wines due to both the '09 vintage character and Chef Khan's vision. We started out with Duck Sausage and Mortadella with Almond Yogurt, Fennel and Smoked Almonds and continued on to Grilled Pork Loin and Pork Belly with Royal Trumpet Mushrooms, Melted Leeks, Pickled Tumeric and Chorizo Broth. The fruity nature of the wines along with their minerality, acidity and tannins complemented the richness and saltiness of the pork. The earth and licorice of the mushrooms, leeks and fennel matched well with the Cru Beaujolais, especially Moulin-a-Vent.
Each wine exhibited the unique character of their growing region's soil through their aroma and flavor profile. The Beaujolais-Villages had the most jammy fruit, while each Cru wine was typical but with the added strength and tannin of the vintage. We also tried a couple of special wines from DuBoeuf: the Fleurie Domaine des Quatre Vents ($16), which was an extremely pretty wine full of cherry and violet, and the Moulin-a-Vent Domaine de la Tour du Bief ($18), which was strong with black fruits, spice and licorice.
I not only recommend purchasing Beaujolais-Villages and Cru wines for their tremendous value and versatility, but also the 2009 vintage for it's amazing quality, tannin and power. Make sure to take advantage of the value these wines bring and let me know how you liked them!