The versatile wines from Beaujolais are favorites of mine and they have been enjoying a renaissance for many years now. As the prices of wines from the north, in Burgundy, continue to skyrocket, these wines from Beaujolais made with the Gamay grape, look like better and better bargains. They also just so happen to be the perfect wines to enjoy with your Thanksgiving dinner. There are not many other offerings that can be soft enough to work with roasted turkey and hold up to all those flavorful fixin’s like savory stuffing or the tartness of cranberry sauce! We will have our list of recommended red and white wines for Thanksgiving out this weekend, but these wines are a great option for the upcoming holiday season or if you simply enjoy drinking really great juice!
Jean-Marc Burgaud is based in Villié-Morgon, in the heart of the most celebrated of the Crus. He is a relative newcomer to the wine scene in France, last year celebrating 30 years. Burgaud has a tiny operation, with only two employees. He began working with a hectare each in Beaujolais Villages, Regine and Morgon. Three years later he got his first bit of Côte du Py. The vineyards have not seen chemicals for 10 years and work is done here with his hands and his horse. His Beaujolais-Villages is from the Village of Lantignie, which almost everyone in Beaujolais believes will be the next “Cru.” Burgaud’s wines are considered some of the best values in Beaujolais, if not all of France. We have been proud to feature two of his offerings for many years now.
92 Points - Wine Advocate
“The 2020 Beaujolais-Villages Les Vignes de Lantignié has turned out beautifully, bursting with aromas of blackberries, spices and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, ample and succulent, with lively acids, melting tannins and a beautifully defined finish, this is worth a special effort to seek out. It's a benchmark for the appellation and the region, plus it’s a terrific value.” – William Kelly
The Cru Beaujolais of Moulin-à-Vent inherited its name from the stoic windmill that has overlooked these vineyards since the 15th century. In the same silent, consistent manner, Paul Janin and his family have tended their Gamay vines for generations. Paul’s son, Eric, is very much a product of this place; he is a fourth-generation grower, overseeing the fruit from its inception in the vineyard to its final resting place in the bottle. Bright, firm and earthy, they can be more reminiscent of the great terroirs of the Côte de Nuit than Beaujolais. This is definitely a wine for the table, if you prefer more structure than softness in your wines. They also gain character as they age and can last 10-plus years in the cellar. This wine is a blend from several localities: Les Greneriers, Les Burdelines, Les Pérelles, Champs de Cour, Les Brussellions and Aux Caves. Predominantly 40 to 70 year old vines, blending is done prior to bottling.
91 Points - Wine Advocate
"The 2018 Moulin-à-Vent Les Vignes du Tremblay exhibits a deep bouquet of ripe plums, mulberries and cherries, with only subtle hints of the rose petal and spice that bottle age will reveal. Medium to full-bodied, sensuous and enveloping, it's broad-shouldered and fleshy, with a gourmand core of ripe fruit, powdery tannins and ripe acids. This is quite a ripe expression of the appellation, and that may mean that it's at its best young." - William Kelley
Paul-Henri Thillardon first settled in Chénas in 2008, and because Chénas was one of the overlooked appellations in the Beaujolais, he was able to find great vineyards that no one else wanted. Having jokingly established his “homestead farm” in the “wild west” of Chénas, Paul-Henri was soon joined by his brother, Charles, and sister, Aude, and now the Thillardon clan is fully entrenched in Chénas. Today, the family farms 14 hectares in Chénas and Moulin-à-Vent and is committed to sound environmental practices like replanting hedges around their vineyards to protect biodiversity, as well as keeping a variety of animals on the farm just behind the winery. These are really fun wines to drink. They are made in the “natural/minimal” style. They are so classy and vibrant but also delicious and even devourable, the kind of wine that it is hard to not pour another glass of! Although Chénas is often overlooked in favor of the more famous Crus like Morgon or Brouilly, the Thillardons have been working hard to change that, and it is clear from their wines, that they are succeeding.
92 Points - Vinous
“The 2019 Chénas Vibrations is a blend of parcels on granitic soils. It has a pure and quite sensual bouquet of expressive red cherries, red currant and strawberry scents, touches of potpourri emerging with time. The palate is very well balanced with marmalade-tinged red cherries and strawberry fruit, a little more weight than the Les Blémonts and a spicy finish. Excellent.” -Neal Martin
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