2009 Beaujolais recommendations for a newbie? (updated with TNs)

If you want to explore and develop an appreciation for Beaujolais, my advice is: Start at the bottom. Seriously.

Start with Beaujolais (yes, plain ol’ Beaujolais) and Beaujolais-Villages - including the mass-produced Dubouef ‘Flower Label’ bottlings; those from large negociants like Jadot and Drouhin; and producers imported by the likes of KLWM (Dupeuble), NBI (Durdilly), Dressner (Brun, Tête), and Weygandt-Metzler (Chermette).

Only then, after having developed some understanding of the range of styles and qualities available at the regional and villages level, move on to the crus. Once again, try them all - from the Duboeuf ‘Flower Labels’ to the highly-acclaimed artisan producers.

Advantages of this approach:

  • It doesn’t cost much.
  • It’s fun.
  • It provides the context I think necessary to a full appreciation of the glories of Beaujolais.
  • You learn what you like.

One man’s opinion.

Next up for me, the Michel Tête (Clos du Fief) Juliénas. A different animal for sure than the Foillard Morgon. Definitely lighter on its feet, less structured, more delicate even, but a very pleasant drink. Better on day 2 (when this note was posted). Nice, but right now, I prefer the bigger-framed Morgon.


  • 2009 Michel Tête Juliénas Domaine du Clos du Fief - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Juliénas (1/15/2011)
    Bright ruby color, with nose of strawberry pie. On the palate, strawberries, raspberries and watermelon. Somewhat candied fruit profile with a decent dose of acidity, suggesting this should improve with time. Clearly “smaller-scaled” and less structured than the Foillard Morgon Cote du Py I tried the other night, but very quaffable, and likely to complement a diverse array of foods (though also fine on its own). (88 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks Scott. I’ve been wondering about Tete and Diochon - yours is the first Tete note I’ve seen.

this is a great approach, IMO.


You’re welcome. I’m actually enjoying this more as it gets more air. I’m on my third glass, and the night is young! I’m probably underrating it in my earlier note, and it is juicy, lively, and very pretty indeed, though lacking some of the complexity of the best wines I’ve had from the region. Clearly of its place, however, and this would not be mistaken for a RRV pinot, grenache, or anything other than gamay.


I actually wonder if top-flight Beaujolais isn’t beginning the occupy the niche formerly filled by decent villages-level red Burgundy: aromatic, high acid wines with some finesse and delicacy in the $25-30 range.

Moving on to Chiroubles, I picked up this beauty for the nutty price of $11.69. Feels like stealing. I will reload on this one for sure. I noticed after the fact that this bottle showed rather well in Richard Jennings’ recent tasting.

  • 2009 Château de Raousset Chiroubles - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chiroubles (1/16/2011)
    Bright ruby. Nose of granite, red licorice, strawberries, lavender, hint of charcoal. Tart cherries, mineral, currants, macintosh apple on the palate, with bright acidity and a long, tart, lingering finish. Reminds me a bit of a loire cab franc at this point. Fresh, lively, and very light on its feet, but with a persistence that leaves a lasting impression. Quite nice and great value at $12. (90 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker


IMHO Cru Beaujolais are more sophisticated wines than most village cote d’or wines

For me, Bingo! Village wines have gotten to a price point where I rarely buy them, as I normally only like these wines in good or better vintages, and the price points have pushed up to where they simply aren’t a buy most of the time with an occasional exception. Sometimes the top Cru Beaujolais are less than $20 and I think better than most villages. Easy decision.

I hope I’m not boring people by resurrecting this thread every few days, but my intentions are that this evolving and growing list of TNs will be informative to some. I’ve got Lapierre’s Morgon, Clos de la Roilette’s Fleurie and Dupeuble’s basic BoJo lined up for the next week, so more to come! This latest installment, from Jadot’s Chateau St. Jacques, is decidedly different in style from the others I’ve tried, and I bet would fool plenty a taster if inserted as a ringer into a lineup of village burgundies. Probably the Beaujolais purist would be put off by this style, but if you put aside your preconceptions about what Beaujolais should or shouldn’t be, this is a well-made wine, if not the purest expression of the Gamay grape.

  • 2009 Louis Jadot Moulin-à-Vent Château des Jacques - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Moulin-à-Vent (1/18/2011)
    My fourth '09 Bojo in about as many days (Foillard Morgon Cote du Py, Raousset Chiroubles, Michel Tête Juliénas Clos du Fief are the others). Guess you could say I dig these wines. Stylistically, this is the most unique of the bunch, darker in color (saturated purple rather than bright ruby), and much more pinot-like in its profile. Noticeable, but unobtrusive oak on the nose (I looked it up, this sees 6 months of wood, but don’t know if any is new) to go with black cherry, some pepper, and floral notes. Pretty but not lithe, this seems to fall decidedly into the camp of more “modern”-styled Beaujolais. Medium to full-bodied, with bing cherry and pomegranate flavors with a medium, slightly tart finish. Lacks some of the verve that I’ve found in the best examples of this vintage, but for what it is, this is tasty stuff. May not be for everyone. (90 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker


It’s not a 2009 but I recommend the 2007 Foillard Morgon Cuvee 3.14. Even compared to the Foillard Cote du Py ('07 or '09), this is the best Beaujolais I have tasted.

I don’t find anything about Beaujolais boring. Good chance that’s true of most who open a thread with ‘Beaujolais’ in its title. Keep 'em coming.

Although I’m a bit uncertain what a ‘Beaujolais purist’ is, I’m fairly certain I’m not one. As a Beaujolais enthusiast, however, I’m not in the least ‘put off’ by the Chateau St. Jacques style.

I’m curious, Scott, especially since you are a self-described Beaujolais ‘newbie’: What do you think are common preconceptions about what Beaujolais should or shouldn’t be?

Since I just tasted that wine recently, albeit very quickly, my impression is completely in opposite. I would likely never be fooled in a blind tasting, thrown in as a ringer with Burgundies, at least none of the Burgundies I have had (not saying there are none that might be similar, just haven’t tasted them).

I’ve been drinking Beaujolais on and off since at least the release of the 1985 vintage. If you want a Beaujolais that might (to a less exacting palate, perhaps Parker :smiley: ) be good as a ringer in Burgundies, try a Moulin-A-Vent from Thibault Liger-BelAir. While I was not as impressed with the '09 Duboef oak aged MAV, in the past it has been the most ‘Burgundian’ like, or say closer to a Pinot Noir, simply because of that time in oak. I believe it may have been a distributor close-out they had on sale @WineX back in the day, 1988 or '89? Any way, it was at least a year past the initial release.

I took a bottle of that to my annual Williams-Selyem visit to pick up my spring or fall release allocations. Both Burt & Ed were really impressed with that Dubeof MAV. A year+ of bottle age and it was really smooth and tasty. I do note, when I saw John Ferrington @W-S in 1995, he was saying (and I’d agree) that he did not care for the Olivet Lane bottlings of W-S because they had some kind of flavors that were reminiscent of Beaujolais. I agreed, but the OL’s did get better with each successive vintage, imho.

As to Gilman advice on trying an older bottle, looking for one in the market place; because with some age the wines smooth out? Well they do, but they need much more time than that in many cases—I would say find an well stored '05 or older to try. I recently tried Trenel '08 BV & Morgon '07 purchased @WHW, both of them had too much youthful, what I call, typical BB (Beaujolias Bite). Probably what many like, that ‘crunchiness’ crisp tartness? The oak aged Duboef MAV had mostly lost all of that youthful (or was it toned down/smoothed out by the oak?) ‘bite’, velvety smooth and good concentration on the palate. I also tried an highly rated '09 from the Wine House, didn’t like it, too much youthful ‘bite’.

Oddly enough, while I was expecting the typical BB in the Winex tasting this past Saturday, I only noticed it sticking out in the Ch. de Chatelard Morgon< was quite bitter, that ‘bite’…bet the beer drinkers among us would like that wine!

As to the Lapierre from Kermit Lynch, I’ve only tried it once or twice, many years ago. Did not like it at all (perhaps an aged bottle would change my mind). To me it was too purple/extracted, like a Oz Shiraz style of Beaujolais, as compared to a Guigal La Turque style of Syrah. One clobbers you with extract, the other has great concentration and length on the palate but is also so elegant it’s almost like a Richebourg. And come on, the gimmicky wax capsule (pretentious? how about a screwcap instead), like some cult Cali collector wine, so they can charge you even more money??? They still have the Lapierre @$40 @klwines. Absurd to pay $40 for a bottle of Beaujolais, I’ll never do it— unless someone can make a Beaujolais that is a dead ringer for a DRC, lol.

The Liger-Belair Moulin-a-Vent is quite big and concentrated. Darker fruited. I really liked this, but I personally like the low sulfur Lapierre Morgon. Excellent juice.

Robert, excellent questions all. While I would consider myself a Beaujolais amateur (I’ve had maybe about 3 dozen in my life), I have a pretty good sensory memory of most of them, so while it may be difficult to put into words, I have some idea of what most Beaujolais taste like (at least to me). To be very general, I would say most veer toward the red fruit end of the spectrum (cherry/pomegranate/cranberry), with purity of fruit (no/little oak treatment), bright acidity, and a freshness/weightlessness on the palate. I could be way off base, but that’s my general impression. This wine was different than this (not in a bad way) as it showed to me noticeable oak and showed more of a black fruit profile (plum, black cherry, currants) and resembled pinot noir more than gamay. It still had the acid backbone, but more lush fruit than others I’ve tried. Hope this helps clarify my thoughts, and I apologize for any wrong assumptions I made.

Gordon, sorry man, but I’m going to continue to disagree with you. You mention that none of the 19 wines you tried that day showed what you call “Beaujolais bite” and while I have not tried most of the wines on that list, I went through a bottle of the Raousset Chiroubles a few days ago, and that definitely had a healthy dose of acidity. As did the Foillard Morgon and Tete Julienas I’ve tried recently. This bottle from Jadot was the clear outlier. I had another glass today (after a glass of Lapierre’s Morgon…TN to follow) and my impressions are the same. To my tastes anyway, close to a Cote de Beaune village wine in style, perhaps most like a Savigny. Part of this is probably due to the oak treatment, and park due the fact that its made by a Burgundy house. Maybe in the context of the Moulin-a-Vent flight, these characteristics didn’t stand out [shrug.gif]


So at last I felt like I’ve worked my way up to the point where I might be worthy of putting my lips to what many seem to regard as one of the pinnacles of Beaujolais in this vintage…Lapierre’s Morgon. This is the sulphured version, lot M09TR S 19/07/10, from 375. In a word, wow! This kicks much ass.

  • 2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (1/19/2011)
    Drank from 375 (and a crazy shaped bottle at that…looks like something you’d put fancy olive oil in). Bright saturated ruby. Seductive floral nose with bing cherry, smoke, and herbs de provence. Attacks the palate with a complex interplay of cherry, cranberry, orange marmalade, lavender, and a hint of matchstick (slight reduction maybe?). A lovely lift from the bright acidity which carries through on a long, smooth finish. Seamless, elegant and refined, lacks some of the bite of other wines from the vintage, but seems to have all the components to make old bones…if you can keep your hands off 'em. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker


I’ve tasted through a few more BoJos recently, so I’ll add these as I haven’t seen a ton of TNs on them here. Also tried a Vissoux V.V. traditionnelle but this was unfortunately corked. I’ll probably test drive Brun’s Moulin-a-Vent soon. I really liked the Braves Regnié. Probably the best bang for the buck of the lot.

  • 2009 Domaines des Braves Régnié - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Régnié (1/31/2011)
    Dark ruby. Nose shows bright cherry and raspberry fruit with a hint of vegetal notes/stemminess and a bit of alchoholic heat (13.5% is a bit high for this region, but the alcohol was not noticeable on the palate). Lovely but rustic flavors, marked by pomegranate, slate, matchstick, bay leaf, and fennel. Medium bodied, sauve, moderately complex, low-moderate acidity, with a smooth lingering finish. A very well made wine that seems to have mid-term aging potential, though lacking some of the ‘bite’ of many wines of the vintage. (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais (1/29/2011)
    Drank over 2 days, and showing its best on day one. Brilliant ruby color. Inititally, a bit of spritz, which blew off quickly. Fresh, vibrant, and pure, featuring cranberry, pomegranate and grape-y flavors, with moderate acidity. Slightly one-dimensional, but a pleasing drink, with enough structure to hold up to a variety of foods. Still, given the drop-off in quality on day 2, I would consider this an early drinker. Lovely QPR at ~$11. (88 pts.)


Thanks. Keep them comming.

I missed this note Scott when you posted a couple weeks ago Scott.
I agree. The Lapierre is rocking good. Bought more again yesterday.

Try '07s or '08s!