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How does good Beaujolais age?


#1

After tasting a delicious Morgon by Joseph Burrier from WS earlier this year, I bought a mixed case of 2015 Burrier / Beauregard wines, including some Fleurie, Moulin a vent, Julienas, and Morgon and stashed it away in Society Reserves. I notice that many of these wines have quite long drinking windows - eg from now until 2024 for Julienas and until 2030 for Moulin a vent and Morgon.

I have no experience of older Beaujolais and I’d be interested to learn how these wines will change with age? Will they improve or just taste different? When will they be at their best? I’m not in any rush to take them out of reserves - equally, if they are not going to get significantly better over time I might as well enjoy them now!

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Recommendation for Beaujolais for aging
#2

The WS has listed some older examples of Beaujolais such as the 2006 Louis Jadot Moulin a Vent Clos du Thorins quite recently. The best wines age and become more gamey and almost Pinot Noir like. Perhaps try a bottle or two of something like that to see if the style is for you. Good Beaujolais is enjoyable at all stages of its life!


#3

Thank you Nick. I probably should have bought a whole case of one wine, then I could have got it out of reserves over several years to taste the changes. Next time… In the meantime I will keep an eye out for another older example of Beaujolais on the site - I think the Louis Jadot you mention has gone.

If anyone has a preference for older or younger Beaujolais, I’d be really interested to hear.


#4

I’m a big fan of older Bojo. Last year I tasted a 2006 Marcel Lapierre Cuvee Camille. It was very Pinot like and a really captivating wine. I think the key here is to choose the right type of producer. Some of the more traditional producers will use Burgundian techniques in the cellar in terms of fermentation types (non carbonic) or choice of barrel and elevage times. Those tend to be the ones that seem to age better as they are provided with the necessary levels of tannin and structure. One of my favourites in this sense would be Alain Coudert, although the barrel size that he uses is larger than the Burgundian type, his approach is very similar.


#5

Morgon is famously the Beaujolais that is said to age the most (which makes it less like Beaujolais in my opinion).

I’ve also kept Nouveau for a couple of years and it’s been fine.


#6

@ASmith,
Moulin-a-Vent tends to be the most robust, tannic and full bodied of the crus. As they age they develop more musky and meaty type profiles, and as @NickFoster said they become more Pinot Noir like.
Morgon , while also being robust and full bodied has a slightly different flavour profile with strong cherry jam notes and more lacy tannins but will also develop that forest floor type flavouring as it gets older so worth keeping a few bottles to see how it changes.
If you haven’t tried a cote de Brouilly, its worth giving it go as they also need a little time in bottle to develop but will stand up to a good Morgan or Moulin-a vent in terms of flavour development as it ages. The wines also tend to be display a bit more minerality and acidity which is a good contrast to the other 2 crus :thumbsup:


#7

Back to this subject as yesterday I tasted a Clos de la Roilette Cuve Tardie 2011 Fleurie. WOW. What a wine, so perfectly developed, savoury and with more weight than your average Bojo. Some of the best I have ever tasted. Jancis Robinson gave it a glowing review back in the day and she wasn’t wrong to think that it was going to age beautifully.

https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/clos-de-la-roilette-cuvee-tardive-2011-fleurie


#8

Looking through the 2018 Champions list and also what Beaujolais are currently available, I’ve got to say I’m a little disappointed that quite a number of Cru’s are represented. The current list seems to be somewhat Village heavy and while I’m sure there are some fantastic wines there, i’m wondering is there a reason why Chenas, Chiroubles, St. Amour, Régnié and Brouilly aren’t represented??

I will however be trying this so thanks @Ewan


#9

We did possibly our biggest-ever cru offer of the 2016s earlier in the year! Sorry if you missed it :frowning: But more en route!


#10

Nooooooooooooo!!! :sob:

I’ll keep an eye out…:wink:, thanks


#11

I’ve had some great experiences ageing cru Beaujolais. Looking back in my cellar book the 1999 Clos du Pont du Jour Cuvee Prestige, Fleurie was still drinking brilliantly in 2009. Similarly the Hubert Lapierre Moulin-a-Vent Vielles Vignes. Morgon ages we’ll too.

I’ve not bought Beaujolais in a while - but that may now change!


#12

I’ve got a bottle of The Society’s Exhibition Moulin-à-Vent 2005 that I shall be opening soon. Will let you know how I get on.


#13

A few years back I had the pleasure of escorting a group of members on a tour of Burgundy. One of the highlights was a visit to Château de Beauregard in the Mâconnais. Beauregard also make wines further south in Beaujolais and one of the most memorable moments was when the owner, Frédéric Burrier, produced a magnum of Fleurie, Colonies de Rochegrès 1999 over lunch. It was a revelation to me and proof positive that cru Beaujolais can age well and that gamay takes on a pinot noir-like persona as it matures. I can still taste the bewitching strawberry and tobacco flavours that went so beautifully with the Comté and goat’s cheese.
As always, it depends how you like your wines. I’d be tempted to keep those 2015 for quite a few more years yet and then open them slowly and watch them unravel. Enjoy!


#14

^^This. I went to a rather sociable blind tasting a few months ago and, throwing modesty to the wind for just a moment, felt my palate was on quite good form. Maybe it’s because I was more relaxed than I often am at such things; but just as I was in danger of feeling smug, the first red of the night completely stumped me.

It had the red-fruit and ‘forest’ character that shouted ‘Burgundy’ to me, but also something of the gratifying black-fruit flavour I’d have pinned on something from much further south. Whatever it was, it was delicious and had wonderful finesse - and for me it outshone most of the other wines we’d been lucky enough to open.

Turns out it was this - sold for a mere £8.50 by us back in the day!


#15

I love these sort of unexpected surprises wine can throw at us from time to time ; I’m particularly chuffed, as Morgon is definitely my favourite Beaujolais Cru! I may experiment with aging the couple I got at home at the moment (both 2015)!.. :thinking:


#16

I’ve just picked up a 2016 Morgon (Ch de Pizay) as I’m keen to explore Beaujolais more. Looks like I should show some patience but maybe best to get some more - some for now, some for later :slight_smile:


#17

Definitely, some age better than others, for example the bigger Moulin-Á-Vent has enough tannic structure to age beautifully for well over a decade and develop an almost Pinot like feel . Others which develop really well with longer aging are Chénas and Morgon. Also, St. Amour needs probably at LEAST two years in bottle to show its potential with Régnié needing more like 5 years. I love Beaujolais wines, can you tell ??:grin:


#18

I hadn’t been aware of this thread so it’s good to see it resurrected.

Whilst I’m never going to be the biggest buyer of Beaujolais, I do try to lay a few bottles down as they can surprise, as everyone says.

I’d be interested to hear people’s views on something I have noticed - older Beaujolais that has thrown a deposit really benefits from a careful decant, as the sediment can be particularly bitter. Has anyone else noticed this?


#19

The French have a word for how the best Beaujolais ages into something far more Burgundian: Morgonise or Morgonisé (I’m not sure of the spelling).

I know a good Morgon (and no doubt some other Cru wines) can last 18 years - maybe more. I had two bottles of Morgon ‘Les Charmes’ 1990 (Gerard Brisson) and drunk one in 2008. Here is my tasting note from then: “Medium mature red. Still some fruit on nose. Big palate, some liquorice, smooth ripe tannins on the long long finish. Nose develops complexity in glass, as does palate.” (Yes of course I store tasting notes in my wine database, how else could I find them later?)

I still have the other bottle. Wonderful or well past it? Maybe I’ll drink it when it’s 30 years old and find out!


#20

I have been doing this for years.
Currently have a six of the Chignard Fleurie “Les Moriers” 2013 happily languishing in reserves.
Very satisfying when one sees a good deposit in the bottle and the transformation of Gamay to a composty Pinot.