I don’t know about you, but when it comes to the Thanksgiving table, there’s no wine that pairs with so many of the flavors on that table, than Cru Beaujolais. Many people have given Beaujolais a bad rap due to the once a year release of Beaujolais Nouveau that in years past was reminiscent of a roll of Bubble Tape chewing gum, but in recent years has been quite outstanding. This is not Nouveau, this is wine worthy of any table, let alone a holiday get together.
The region of Beaujolais has long been considered a part of Burgundy, the neighbor if you will. But now, the region has been able to stand on its own and people seek out the delicious wines of the 10 crus of Beaujolais. Out of the 10 Cru’s, Chénas, is one of the smallest, rarest to find in the United States and one of the most mouth wateringly delicious. Coming in at just under 1 square mile, this region is compact and packed with vineyards and rightfully so! The wine is phenomenal!! The Gamay grape is similar to Pinot Noir, but typically lighter in style. The wines can be deeper in color, but usually have a more floral character and earthy notes. An amazing food pairing wine, that has a huge range of pairing options from Turkey to fish! Yes, fish. Be on the lookout for domestic offerings of Gamay as well, as there are some great wineries coming out of Oregon, New York and even Canada!
“Not fully retired from winemaking, father Jean-Michel has now introduced “Chénas” to the families line. Among the most revered Beaujolais Crus (and rarest in the US), low-fertility soils result in small, thick-skinned, concentrated grapes and age-worthy, sturdier Gamay based wines. 40-year-old, close- planted vines on a granitic, sandy and porous hillside slope overlooking Chénas, “goblet” pruned without wires, aged in neutral oak vats and barrels”.
With a history of winemaking like this family has, you know it’s going to be an amazing bottle of wine. Damn, do I wish I could take a trip to Beaujolais right now! One of these days, when the world is back open for travel, I suggest you add it to your list of places. You’ll be eating and drinking like a King or a Queen. Snag a couple of these bottles to impress some friends with when they ask you for a glass of Pinot Noir or other Red wine. It’ll blow their minds and so will the price!
Nick Mallon, Certified Sommelier