Beaujolaise 2 of 2

Last week, Beaujolais problems. This week, reasons to drink this wine and suggestions which to buy.

Beaujolais is distinctive because it is made with Gamay grape and becomes wine using carbonic maceration where sugar turns into alcohol inside the intact grape berry. In practice, both carbonic maceration and standard yeast-driven conversion occurs, but mix of techniques produces deliciously distinctive wine.

Because of vivid nose and lively fruit flavors, Beaujolais often is called white wine that just happens to be red. As result, it is often served chilled (15 minutes refrigeration), but room temperature is fine, too.

The wine has three quality levels. “Beaujolais” is cheap, uncomplicated, approachable. If you like White Zinfandel, try this. Wines labeled “Beaujolais-Villages” are blends from grapes from throughout region and are more substantial than Beaujolais.

Finest Beaujolais are named for 10 specific areas, called crus. It being France, Cru du Beaujolais are top quality Beaujolais wines, but name Beaujolais is not permitted as major element on the label. Instead, 10 cru names appear. Each cru has different characteristics. Crus, in rough order of quality, all delicious in their own ways:

Juliénas. Full-bodied, rich, drink young.

Saint-Amour. Silky, berry fruits.

Chénas. Top value; supple, graceful.

Moulin-á-Vent. Powerful, ages well (up to 10 years).

Fleurie. Medium bodied, floral, velvety, most feminine.

Chiroubles. Delicate, delicious, vivid nose.

Morgon. Full, masculine, apricots, peaches, earth.

Côte de Brouilly. Lively, light bodied.

Régnié. Red currant and raspberries, quality little below Côte de Brouilly.

Brouilly. Largest cru, fruity, grapey, variable quality.


• Duboeuf Chiroubles. Simply delicious. $12

• Duboeuf Moulin-a-Vent. Extremely delicious fruits, will make you a Beaujolais fan. $13.

• Duboeuf Fleurie. Floral, velvety taste. $14.