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Monday 21 November 2011

Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2010‏

Beaujolais is perhaps in perception terms the red-wine equivalent of Sherry, a wine considered rather passé in the popular consciousness - a bit 70s - and in need of rehabilitation.

Like Sherry, Beaujolais is also rather misunderstood and unfairly maligned, suffering serious image problems created more by marketing people than by the wine makers themselves.

Just as a simple word association game with Sherry will inevitably bring up maiden aunts and vicars, so Beaujolais is forever associated with
Beaujolais nouveau which Oz Clarke adroitly describes as "once a simple celebration of the new vintage, then overhyped".

So if Sherry is becoming hip again, can Beaujolais ?

Well, based on the strength of this Louis Jadot Combes Aux Jacques Beaujolais-Villages, there's no reason why it shouldn't.

Based in the rolling, mainly granite hills of southern Burgundy, Beaujolais is made from the Gamay grape which is something of a poor man's Pinot Noir - it has Pinot's cherry fruit, softness and lightness, but also, when well-made a versatile food-friendliness that suits the local game-based cuisine.

Unlike Pinot, however, it is not a wine made for aging and, the nonsense of Beaujolais noveau aside, is best drunk relatively young.

Opening the bottle a couple of hours before dinner, I leave it to get some air in a decanter to let the acidity develop - sampled on first opening, it feels rather thin and underwhelming. 

We don't chill the wine as such, but even when served over dinner, it still has some coolness from storage under the stairs; it is ruby purple in the glass with aromas of cherries and hints of savoury liquorice on the nose. The palate shows more simple cherry fruit, lovely, juicy-yet-rounded food-friendly acidity and a savoury finish with only the merest grip.

Elegant and balanced, it is a lovely, straightforward wine - a quaffer or a good accompaniment to light autumnal game dishes such as cured duck breast or venison terrine.

It is thoroughly classical so those brought up on New World-style wines with lots of up-front fruit and varied aromas may - incorrectly - find it initially elusive or underwhelming.

With the right amount of air, however, it is a very lovely wine - one to fall quietly in love with rather than be flashily impressed by - and a textbook example of what a great Beaujolais should be like.

£9.49 from Tesco, Waitrose, Budgens, Nisa Today's, Spar, Booths, Matthew Clark, www.yourfavouritewines.com

Provided for review.


Louis Jadot - http://www.louisjadot.com/
Tesco - http://www.tesco.com/wine/
Waitrose - http://www.waitrosewine.com/
Budgens - http://www.budgens.co.uk/
Nisa Today's - http://www.nisa-todays.com/
Spar - http://www.spar.co.uk/
Booths - http://www.booths.co.uk/
Matthew Clark- http://www.matthewclark.co.uk/

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