The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

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Page 120 of 128

WHAT WE'RE DRINKING Beaujolais Scores a Vintage Hat Trick A RECENT GEORGES DUBOEUF PREVIEW PORTENDS GREAT—AND AGEABLE—WINES FROM 2011 by David Ransom C onsidering Beaujolais's varying climate and geographical location, one doesn't usually think of this southern Burgundy region as a place that would produce a string of three truly exceptional vintages in a row. But that seems to be the case . . . at least if the consensus at a recent cru portfolio preview in New York City by legendary Beaujolais producer Georges Duboeuf stands until the wines are released, later this year. The more full- bodied Duboeuf Beaujolais crus from the 2011 vintage, such as the Juliénas, have aging potential. Building on the excel- lent 2010 and incompa- rable 2009 vintages—the latter being the vintage Duboeuf himself dubbed the "vintage of a lifetime" due to a simply perfect growing season—the 2011 shows many of the same qualities: ripe fruit, deep color and, in the case of the more full-bodied wines from Juliénas, Morgon and Moulin à Vent, even aging potential— a concept most wine drinkers don't necessarily identify as a August saw a return to warm weather and drier conditions, leading to very good ripening of the fruit, and what seems to be a very promising vintage. Along with the Beaujolais Villages, Les Vins Franck and Georges Duboeuf of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf toast the promising 2011 Beaujolais vintage in New York with importer Peter Deutsch of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. The two families have been in partnership for 30 years. trait of Beaujolais and its principal grape, Gamay. One of the benchmarks of the 2011 vintage is a very good tannic structure across the full range of wines, including the entry-level Beaujolais Villages, which was one of the most impressive wines in the tasting, certainly better than the 2010 version and quite possibly better than the 2009. Asked whether 2011 would eventually rival 2009, Mr. Duboeuf was quick to point out that unlike that year's growing season, 2011 did have a few challenges, including very warm weather in April followed by early summer rains. However, 120 / the tasting panel / august 2012 Georges Duboeuf produces the full representation of the ten cru Beaujolais under the Flower Label: Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à Vent, Saint Amour and Régnié. Duboeuf also produces a num- ber of limited-release crus, including the Morgon Jean Descombes and the Juliénas Château des Capitans, both of which tend to age beautifully. Les Vins Georges Duboeuf is exclusively imported and distributed by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits.

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