Best Bordeaux Blog

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Thanks to the team at Winerist I’ve been awarded the “Best Bordeaux” title for their Blogger Awards 2015! Now here comes your part: if you like my blog please VOTE for me! http://www.winerist.com/contests/contest/the-winerist-blogger-awards-2015

And thank you all for your support and for reading my blog!

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C’est Nouveau: Beaujolais Nouveau

When you mention the worlds Beaujolais Nouveau in France people tend to cringe. But you mention the words in Japan and people typically get very excited. Hell, they even bathe in it. You mention it in the United States and people on the west coast would probably ask you what it is. So…what exactly is it?

Beaujolais is a wine producing region located north of the French city of Lyon. Administratively considered part Burgundy, Beaujolais is a distinct region all its own. Nonetheless due to skyrocketing land prices in Burgundy many producers are turning to Beaujolais to buy land, particularly in the Northern regions of the appellation which feature the 10 Crus.

Producing mainly Chardonnay and Gamay, a red varietal, Beaujolais’ most famous wines are the Beaujolais Nouveau. A light bodied red wine made from the Gamay grape, each new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is released each year on the third Thursday of November. By law all Beaujolais grapes are hand-harvested and are fermented using carbonic maceration. Whole grape clusters are added to the vat and fermentation begins within the berry. The carbonic gas released as part of this fermentation process forms a cap and prevents oxygenation. And yes in case you were wondering the November release is the current year’s harvest. So yesterday November 20th was the worldwide release of the 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau.

As should be clearly evident based on the release schedule, Beaujolais Nouveau is not a very complex wine. It’s not aged in oak. There is no extended period of maceration. Simple, crisp, clean and light bodied, Beaujolais Nouveau is easy drinking.

Despite the sneers of Fine Wine drinkers in France, I decided to make like the French and attend a Beaujolais Nouveau release party at one of my neighborhood wine bars. And the wine was as promised. Crisp, clean, light, slightly acidic and very easy to drink. And today was followed by a tasting of Beaujolais wines, including a white wine, a village and two crus. The white was crisp and mineral, a truly stunning surprised that reminded me of a Bourgogne blanc. The first red, a Beaujolais Village, was my favorite. Clean, bright with beautiful notes of cherry and spice. The two crus were sadly a little disappointing. But that was my opinion.

So on that note, act a little French and go find yourself a bottle to enjoy!

 

Un Week-end à l’Hospice

Don’t panic. I didn’t actually spend the weekend in the hospital. Rather I spent the weekend in the Côte de Beaune for the 154th Wine Auction organized by Christie’s benefiting the Hospice de Beaune, a nonprofit hospital in Burgundy. And what an amazing weekend it was.

So before the exciting details a little bit of history is in order. The Hospice de Beaune, or the Hôtel-Dieu, is an ancient charitable hospital in the heart of Beaune, considered the heart of Burgundy. Housed in an iconic 15th Century building the Hospice provided free medical services and food to the poor. Today a museum, this antique hospital was still in use during the 1980s. But the organization lives on and provides high-quality modern medical services.

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The Courtyard of the Hôtel-Dieu

But what truly makes this organization unique is the wine. Continue reading