A private match between Beaujolais and Burgundy

I consider wine tasting a form of entertainment. It is obviously about the observation of wine, but we leave the snobbish rubbish aside. On Borough Wines’ first very official tasting evening on Wednesday, Burgundy was clashing with Beaujolais. Chardonnay fighting against Chardonnay, Pinot Noir against Gamay.Something is happening in Beaujolais. The wines feel a lot more concentrated. It looks like the region has finally dropped the “lesser known cousin, who will never make it to the big city” – image. The winemakers seem to be swapping the cheap and cheerful to more concentrated, exciting wines. This is going to be something big.I was quite pleased to be asked for a wine tasting evening titled Burgundy vs Beaujolais. Some customers of Wilton Way had all ready had the chance to taste the Chateau Lavernette wines, the absolute New Wave of Beaujolais winemaking. To compare these great wines to the ones in Bourgogne, well one can call this a special occasion.

If I have to compare tutored wine tasting to something, it would be stand up comedy. OK, you have to keep up attention, there is a dangerous substance present, and you have to entertain people. It is not teaching, it is not judging people nor is it snobbery (well, not with us it isn’t.) It is the joy of exploring something together, having a good laugh, and getting familiar.

So on this Wednesday night, the Lavernette’s Beaujolais Blanc showed some excellent peachy characteristics. We had a chat about the exciting characteristics of rotten apples in a glass of Bourgogne. We surmised that Oak shouldn’t be a swear word, and Chardonnay is actually a great varietal – as long as the winemaker has a gentle hand when in comes to wood. Someday we will get over those over-oaked styles..I promise you.

The reds were also quite a big surprise. The Beaujolais Village raised some distant college  memories in some of the tasters. The flavours and aromas were way beyond expectations. The Marillier family’s Cadole Pinot Noir delivered what a Bourgogne red should. Loads of fruit accompanied by that very special “farmyardy character”. Finished with the super concentrated Beaujolais Leynes. I think it was a perfect example of the Beaujolais New Wave. Great evening, passing time with good wines, good cheeses, and great company.

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