Near the village of Villié-Morgon, from the hilltop of Py, there is a 360º viewpoint where it’s easy to pick out Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly to the southwest, Régnié to the west, Chiroubles, Fleurie, and Moulin-à-Vent to the north, and on a clear day, Mont Blanc in the southeastern distance. These ancient vineyards have long been known as the origin of wines destined to slake the thirst of the masses at home or at the local bar or bistro. Appreciation of the distinctive wines of each of the ten recognized crus is an entirely modern phenomenon, resulting from the establishment of AOC status in the 1930’s and ’40’s (and 1988 for Régnié). Now that the region has just about recovered from the devastating devaluation of the region’s wines due to the marketing masterpiece known as Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, it appears that a renaissance has arrived. Never before have there been so many great Beaujolais produced, and a great many of those are exported our way.
For the fourth year, we’re proud to offer an all new “Bojonanza” six-pack, featuring six different crus from six different producers, all from the delightfully full, fruity, and food-friendly 2014 vintage. This is a great opportunity to explore the ever-increasing breadth and quality of a region that is finally starting to get the attention it deserves. The wines are all available individually in limited quantities, though buying all six will net you a $25 discount!
BOJONANZA 4 $120
A bottle of each of the six wines described below. Travel village by village at your own pace through the entire region of Beaujolais; or get your crew together and open them all at once to share the ultimate cru Beaujolais experience!
Château Thivin Brouilly “Reverdon” $23
This estate is well known for their exemplary Côte-de-Brouilly, which we featured in the inaugural addition of Bojonanza. Most wines that fall into the more humble Brouilly appellation are made from low-lying, flatter vineyards, but Thivin’s vineyards are in “Reverdon”, a moderately steep hillside replete with crushed pink granite.
Domaine Mee Godard Morgon “Corcelette” $30
After years of studying and working in wine in Oregon and Burgundy, Mee Godard created her domaine in February of 2013. She has quickly earned the “rising star” status for her début and sophomore vintages, crafted from three excellent terroirs in Morgon. She works vines in three different sections of Morgon, bottling each separately. This “Corcelette” carries all the gravity and tension of true Morgon, though in a vintage like 2014, it’s already very expressive.
Roland Pignard Régnié $25
Lapierre, Foillard, Métrat, etc., and why not Pignard? Exhibit A for why Roland and Joëlle Pignard’s work ought to be included along with the best in the region is this utterly old-school, silence-rendering Régnié.
Anne Sophie Dubois Fleurie “Clepsydre” $25
Anne Sophie Dubois is one of the younger producers in Fleurie, but has already become an important voice for the region, particularly in regard to the movement to eschew carbonic maceration, as has been the rule in Beaujolais over the last half century, to revert to traditional Burgundian fermentation, which results in a more extracted, tannic, and slower-developing wine. She produces three different cuvées, none of which is a clearer example than “Clepsydre”, which is made from a selection of her oldest vines, and could probably use a decant and an hour out of bottle, if you’re drinking it this year.
Céline et Nicolas Hirsch Chénas $18
Céline and her husband Nicolas are transplants from Alsace who recently found the opportunity to manifest their winemaking dreams in purchasing an old estate in Chénas. The appellation of Chénas is the smallest of the crus, squeezed in between Juliénas to the north and Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent to the south. It could just be the power of suggestion, but this wine seems to combine the muscular, lower frequencies of Moulin-à-Vent with the higher, brighter tones of Juliénas.
Domaine Chignard Juliénas “Beauvernay” $24
After over a century of working a single steep hillside in Fleurie called “Les Moriers”, the Chignards, under the leadership Cedric (5th generation), acquired a small hillside vineyard in Juliénas just a few years ago. Cedric and his father Michel are staunch defenders of the typical Beaujolais whole-cluster fermentation, as is clearly shown in the exuberant, strawberry-suffused aroma of this young wine.