2015 Cru Beaujolais
by Anthony Lynch
Look out, folks—2015 Beaujolais crus are now in stock! After an abnormally hot and dry summer last year, timely late-season rains restored balance to the grapes just before harvest. These wines make a statement—a deep, booming bellow beyond the habitual “Buvez-moi!” we have come to expect from the land of Gamay. Chock-full of ripe, palate-coating fruits, they have serious presence on the palate, but fear not: there is no shortage of pleasure here, so whether you plan on quaffing, pondering, or cellaring these reds, you can be sure 2015 has something in store for you.
Max Breton’s higher-altitude vineyards give a remarkably lively, ethereal expression of Morgon. This year is no exception, but you’ll have to slurp your way through a broad layer of plush, sexy fruits and flowers to access the refreshing core of minerals that lies buried beneath. Big and juicy with a gorgeous tannin, it will show its best after some aeration or decanting.
$34.00 per bottle $367.20 per case
Dense and voluptuous, Chignard’s Fleurie does not disappoint in 2015. Fruit, structure, and concentration are turned up a notch this vintage, but Cédric Chignard’s traditionalist methods have once again yielded a wine that transparently expresses its terroir, right on the border of Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent. It is pure velvet on the palate, with a spicy minerality jazzing up the elegant finish.
$26.00 per bottle $280.80 per case
Tasting the new vintage with Nicole Chanrion is always a bit of a relief. Rather than going through dozens of tanks and barrels for a daylong affair, as with some growers, Nicole has just four ginormous foudres devoted to the new wine, only two of which were filled due to the vintage’s meager yields. I perfectly recall dipping my nose into my first sample of her 2015: what an intoxicating, jubilant, regal perfume! A fresh acidity and thick, chewy tannins give this Côte-de-Brouilly a mighty backbone that will certainly reward cellaring.
$22.00 per bottle $237.60 per case