January 12, 2009

Aged Beaujolais

It's been a few years since I opened my last bottle of 2002 Domaine Diochon Moulin a Vent, from the most ageworthy cru Beaujolais locale.

In the past this wine has been tasty, but hard if not a bit stern, as I find is typical of this producer. So often the Diochon wines seem to need a few more years than I end up giving them. I thought I experiement and leave my only remaining bottle until now, even if the conventional wisdom is that you don't age Beaujolais.

I'm guessing most readers of this obscure blog probably already know it's true, but you can definitely age Beaujolais. Don't believe anyone who says otherwise. Sure, age is relative. At six plus years old, I call this aged wine. For most red Bordeaux, that wouldn't be much time. But this wine is beautifully mature, just what you want from a cellared wine with its delicious mix of freshness and age.

The color is all ruby, but definitely lacking the brightness of youth. The aroma is simply gorgeous, all nuance. Cherry pits and raspberry hints, with stones and clean earthy notes, then musky floral notes, all fresh and clean but nicely integrated in a way that only time in the cellar brings.

The flavors are bright and fresh, and mature all at once with fine tannin that just begs for a meal. All together, I can only think of one word -- toothsome. What does that really mean, anyway? The dictionary says "of palatable flavor and pleasing texture." Exactly. I'll add that the acidity is fresh, bright, and juicy, cleansing the palate and begging you to pour another glass. The wine literally makes you lick your teeth and inhale.

Try it. And don't be afraid to leave your Beaujolais a few years. For example, those 2005s are babies, perhaps the most ageworthy reds from Beaujolais that I recall tasting young. I've had wines that should last 10 years or more, improving, getting smoother and more nuanced along the way. And if you find any well stored 2002s from producers like Diochon, give them a try.


Marshall Manning said...

I totally agree here, in fact even 2002 isn't that old for CRU Beaujolais. I just had my last bottle of '02 Clos de Roilette, and wished I had a couple more in the cellar.

BTW, it will be a while before it's available locally, but the 2008 Chanrion Cote de Brouilly will be a stunner, and probably one that will age well.

Vincent Fritzsche said...

I still have one of the Roilettes, and I wasn't going to open it for a while.

It's true, '02 isn't that old. Still, at 6+ years, we're well outside the typical "drink fresh" advice about any Beaujolais that I see most often.

Welcome back.