2014 Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir

Happy Howloween! Trick or treating as a shrimp sushi today! Hehe. Strawberries, red berries, and hint of damp earth on the nose. Strawberries and berries with a gummy finish. Serve this with a bit of a chill on it. 

3/5 bones



12.6% abv

El Dorado County, California, USA

Hot spiced wine is a lovely spin on the typical Wine Wednesday choices, with cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and citrus flavors. Try this recipe by Leite’s Culinaria.


  • 2 bottles light-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir, gamay, or cabernet franc
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  •  Strips of zest from 1 orange, preferably organic
  •  Strips of zest from 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • 3 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, crushed
  • 1 clove, crushed
  • 1 star anise, crushed
  • ½ cup kirsch (optional)

Get the full recipe »

2010 Marcel Lapierre Morgon

The last couple of years have been good to Cru Beaujolais. These long misunderstood subregions have recently begun to see some time in the spotlight, in large part due to the freakishly structured and concentrated wines of the 2009 vintage. As a result, prices have begun to creep up, but it’s hard to blame the people selling them. For too long, micro-growers of Fleurie, Morgon, and Brouilly struggled to sell their wines, precluded by the blanket reputation of plonk that Georges Dubeuf profitably built for Beaujolais in the latter half of the 20th century. The release, and subsequent critical acclaim, of 2009 wines last year served as the tipping point for a Cru Renaissance here in the United States. 

In America, we like numbers. We buy based on stock IPOs rather than long term projections, promote or demote baseball players on an essential “.300” average, and admission or rejection to our universities is largely dependent on a test score. It’s only natural that we select wines based on vintage. 

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The 2010 Marcel Lapierre Morgon is hopefully a wine that will make you second guess all of that. This isn’t Beaujolais that impresses with sheer concentration, structure, and body like the 2009 incarnation. Instead, it charms and seduces with its “girl next door” character. The bright and fresh crushed berry aromas unfold with oxygen, coupled with floral perfume and earthy elements. The palate is lithe and fresh. Every sip taken makes you yearn for another. Before you know it, the bottle is empty, which should be the real barometer for vintage quality. After all, the ultimate compliment you can pay a wine is the inability to leave a single drop of it. Based on that, this 2010 is hard to beat. 

While Lapierre’s wines are becoming hard and harder to find, the good news is that many of the 2010 vintage Cru Beaujolais I’ve had the pleasure to taste share this same “drinkability”.  While the Vintage Charts may not reflect it, 2010 may actually be a better source than 2009 for sheer pleasure at this stage of the game.

Le Beaujolais Primeur est arrivé!

Seit 1953 ist ab dem dritten Donnerstag im November der Beaujolais Primeur oder Nouveau im Handel erhältlich. Weine aus dem Beaujolais, die noch im Jahr ihrer Herstellung in den Handel dürfen, tragen diese Bezeichnung. Freunde dieses Jungweins können sich dieses Jahr besonders freuen, denn die Gamay-Ernte 2009 ist nach Expertenmeinungen besonders gut ausgefallen.

Obwohl dieser Tropfen von vielen Kennern skeptisch betrachtet wird, ist um den Primeur ein wahrer Kult entstanden. Bistros in Frankreich werden um Mitternacht aufgesucht, um die Ankunft dieses Weins zu zelebrieren. Zu diesem Anlass begab sich heute Nachmittag das REXVINI-Team auf die Suche nach Beaujolais Primeur Weinen im Preisbereich von 5 Euro. Gefunden wurde bei Jacques Weindepot ein Chateau de Chanzé Beaujolais nouveau 2009 und im Rindchens Weinkontor der Chateau de Pizay 2009. Heute noch werden die Flaschen des großen Jahrgangs 2009 für REXVINI getestet – bald gibts auch dort die ersten Einträge zu den erwähnten Weinen!


2012 Guy Breton Morgon Vieilles Vignes

Keepin’ it rustic with this lovely Beaujolais! Small red berries, strawberries, cranberries, cola, a touch of Dr. Pepper even, and fresh twigs on the nose. Great acidity on the palate with the attack of small red fruit then twigs, bramble, and cola. Cranberry finish. Yum!

4/5 bones



12.5% abv

Morgon (Beaujolais), FRANCE

Wine of the Week – July 8, 2011

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Henry Fessy 2009 Morgon

Unfortunately the only time most people have heard of Beaujolais is from ‘Beaujolais Nouveau’: the wine that comes out every November that’s so fresh it’s more like fruit juice than wine. Beaujolais wines can offer so much more than Nouveau and this one from Morgon is a steal.

With Beaujolais Nouveau being made in such huge quantities it is often the wine that people will try first from the area… then automatically think that all wines labelled Beaujolais are light and simple. This is definitely not the case. It’s best to think of Beaujolais as having three distinct levels of quality: Beaujolais Nouveau wines are the most basic and fresh; wines labelled Beaujolais or Beaujolais-Villages have been aged for longer and have more depth to them (Villages are generally better); any of the areas labelled as a Beaujolais Cru are the most serious and are of the highest quality.

Unfortunately, due to the bad preconceptions that people can have when they hear the word Beaujolais, wines from the 10 different Beaujolais Crus (or areas) often don’t use the word Beaujolais on the label. The winemakers will often distance themselves from anything that could relate to Beaujolais Nouveau. Thankfully this Morgon from Henry Fessy does make a point of being from Beaujolais, but the 10 Crus you will see on labels are: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à Vent, Régnié and Saint Amour.

The first thing you’ll notice about this wine is that it is definitely not light. This has quite a lot of body and it’s packed with flavour. It has loads of red fruit flavours (especially cherry), but also a chalky savoury edge. The wine is incredibly smooth and silky in the mouth, so it’s a great wine to try if you generally find red wines to be too bitter. It’s also worth putting a bottle of this in the fridge 15 minutes before you serve it.

At under £10 this wine is a real bargain. If you buying a red wine from Burgundy – which is just up the road – you won’t find anything of comparable quality for close to this price. Buy this now before everyone realises how underpriced Beaujolais wines are!


Colour: Red

Made from: Gamay

Say it: Gah-may

Made in: Beaujolais, France

Say it: Bow-jol-lay

Drink with: Duck

Priced at: £9.49

Buy from: Waitrose

Wine Holiday: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrive!

Hi everyone. My name’s Amanda, and I love Beaujolais Nouveau.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the quality, or Georges du Boeuf, or the snazzy packaging they come up with each year. It has more to do with wine- this is the first new vintage out for 2011. So exciting! I love looking forward to that third Thursday in November- in the wine industry, this time of year can be exhausting- and knowing that when I leave my wine tasting that night (and I’ll have one, it’s the Thursday before Thanksgiving), there will be a fresh new bottle for me to test out. It’s a transient bottle- only lasts for a couple months, really. But Beaujolais Nouveau has been a holiday to me ever since I appreciated wine, and I guess I can’t shake the connection between my discovery of wine and the fun and sometimes questionable mystery of Beaujolais Nouveau.

I am extremely pleasantly surprised with this year’s Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Last years had some weird banana flavors going on (a girlfriend and I dumped the bottle), but this year’s is truly enjoyable. You can’t miss the raspberry color will literally leap out at you from the glass, and the fruity aromas are tough to miss. Jammy! It is made with 100% Gamay grapes and is pleasant, light, and fruity. I call Beaujolais Nouveaus “gateway reds,” meaning that they’re great for white wine or non-wine drinkers to make the jump to reds, and this one is no exception.

I asked the winemaker I worked for in Beaujolais years ago why the Beaujolais made the first new vintage of a year and not Bordeaux producers, Loire producers, etc. The answer was simple: They thought of it first. But even though that is probably the true and unromantic explanation, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to separate Beaujolais from the posters in French restaurant windows, the grape balloons outside of Paris cafes, and the excitement of the winemakers in Beaujolais when they talk about their new vintage. Laugh if you will, but I still love it. Beaujolais Nouveau!!


THE LADY: Domaine de la Grand’ Cour Brouilly Vieilles Vignes, Beaujolais, France, 2010 • THE TUNE: Austra – Lose It (2011)

The Personality: ingenuous, she has the freshness and the pinky shyness of a teenager. Her crystalline voice goes along with her easy/frivolous/candy/violet character. Though you try to kiss her, she gives you an unexpected tannic slap, like sunburn in the winter. Tangy, ambiguous and playful, this young pretty girl loves women and she screams it (Singapore, 2011)

Can’t hear me? Click HERE

THE LADY: Charly Thévenet Grain & Granit Régnié, Beaujolais, France, 2009 • THE TUNE: Morphine - Buena (1993)

The Personality: with a smoky, meaty mood, a caressing texture, a dashing allure, this is a middleweight boxer that comes from an attractive and promising young domain (Charly is the son of famous “Gang of Four” Morgon producer Jean-Paul Thévenet and purchased this parcel of eighty-year-old vines a few years ago). He is street-smart, well-built, skilled, nervous and racy. He is more complex than you would think, he smiles at you with a candid charm that makes you secretly wonder about his dark side… (Singapore, 2011)

Can’t hear me? Click HERE

THE LADY: Jean-Paul Thévenet Morgon Vieilles Vignes, Beaujolais, France, 2010 • THE TUNE: Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)

The Personality: precise, tight tannins coupled with a bright but yet integrated acidity, it has the graceful agility of the flowing backhand of an experienced tennis player. This boy has a wild and timeless elegance, a fine muscle structure and a rock’n’roll-esk class. With such natural skills, there is no question he will age beautifully (Singapore, 2011)

Can’t see me? Click HERE

THE LADY: Jean Foillard Morgon Cuvée Corcelette, Beaujolais, France, 2009 • THE TUNE: Patsy Cline – Walkin’ After Midnight (1957)

The Personality: it feels like your fingertips are brushing wet dirt and silk at the same time, a mix of sadness and attractiveness. It is a little, imposing cuvée with an elegant animality. Generous, dense, juicy, peppery, it wakes up your carnivorous desire and has the erogenous effect of the anticipation of a great steak. It is a bossy lady with a bewitching voice who is excellent company through to the end of the night (Singapore, 2011)

Can’t hear me? Click HERE

Probably the tastiest Beaujolais Nouveau I have tried! This is a clear medium purple color wine. Clean on the nose, with medium+ aromatic intensity of bubble gum, strawberry, red cherry, cranberry, pomegranate and banana. Fully developed. Dry on the palate with medium+ acidity, medium- ripe and soft-grained tannins, medium alcohol level, medium body and pronounced flavor intensity displaying bubble gum, strawberry, red cherry, cranberry, pomegranate and banana. The generous fruit is balanced by the lively acidity and it has a medium+ length. The quality is very good for a youthful and expressive wine.

The future of Gamay?

Can you remember the last time you drank a Gamay? If you were not opening any top bottles from Beaujolais Crus, I assume the only respond from you is simply a shrug. 

As well know, Gamay is something of forgotten wine. It is also the unwanted child of Duke Philippe le Hardi, who personally drove out Gamay to Beaujolais on purpose to sustain the purity in lineage of Birgundy cepages . Gamay in Beaujolais made its reputation mostly by Beaujolais Nouveau, a fruity, light and easy drinking new wine. Even serious Wine makers seldom keep Gamay in oak, and undergo an unusual fermentation “carbonic maceration”, which generates distinctive banana and cherry fruit notes. However, if you believe everybody is dealing with gamay in the same way, well, you are gonna see something really interesting.  

Please picture this in your mind: 40 years old vines, very low yield, 100% new French oak, long aging in barrel. Most of you might have those names flashing: garage wine, cult wine, premiums Bordeaux… But, how about Gamay from Burgundy!  

Villars Fontaine, in Haute Cote de Nuit, is a traditional vineyard fully focusing on old burgundy wine making method. The cost they put in making their gamay could even humilate most Grands crus producers.. All of their Gamay are suited on the best slope of Montagne de Villars. They strictly control the yield at 38 hl per hectare, and use 100% new French oak. Even more shocking, the oak aging period is as long as 60 months!     

They have a huge cellar which was constructed 6 meters underground. Even in a cold winter like in Burgundy, the cellar could constantly maintain around 8 degree without any heater or air condition. More than 4000 barrels lie entranced, thick, beneath golden halos of ceiling light. 

“I am the pilgrim of traditional wine making”, said M. LAISNEY Antoine, oenologist of Villars Fontaine, while he was gently stirring his glass of wine. “Serious wines need patience, like extend maceration and long aging. Otherwise, you are making industrial wines. They might taste fair when young. But it dose not matter your wines come from Bordeaux or Burgundy, they all taste the same after 5 years.” 

A bottle named “Gamay du futur” is the proud opus of Mr. Bernard Hudelot, who is the head oenologist and owner of Villars. “this wine perfectly conveyed my philosophy of wine making: a wine to keep!”, said Mr. Hudelot. “Gamay is a younger brother of Pinot Noir. As long as it is 15 years old, it has nothing to envy its big brother”. Therefore, he heavily invested on gamay with new oaks and long aging period, to make his gamay firm, tannic and has great potential for aging.

Another reason which makes M. Hudelot into Gamay is the effect of climate change. In around 1098, the Citeaux came to Cote de Nuit and brough 300 years’ flourish in both Pinot noir and Gamay, because the climate was hot at that time.From 1350 to 1850, Burgundy climate was getting very cold which only favored Pinot Noir. This also explains why Phillipe le Hardi expelled Gamay from Burgundy. Now, we are facing the hottest climate in human history, perhaps it’s time to cheer the return of Gamay.      

Gamay du Futur 02 has very complex nose, dry flowers, boiled fruits, clove, and acacia. Round and smooth, with chocolate and oak flavors. However, the notes of oak are over dominating. This wine might still hold for some years, but I don’t think it could benefit from aging. Overall, it’s an interesting wine but lack of delicacy. But I still have faith on this wine’s future. If they continue to put lots of efforts on gamay, which dose not necessarily mean 100% oak and 60 months aging, they could successfully change most people’s stereotype eventually. 

However, no matter how bright the future seems to be, according to French regulations, as long as gamay is produced in Cote de Nuit, it is sidelined from any prestigious appellations, like “village, 1er etc”. In this case, this Gamay could only carry the “Bourgogne Grande Ordinaire”, even if selling price is at least 35 euros.


THE LADY: Domaine Jacques Maillet Autrement, Vin de Savoie, France, 2007 • THE TUNE: Marilyn Manson - Apple Of Sodom (1997) [Lost Highway Soundtrack]

The Personality: this animal has an earthy and unconventional charm, a thin but solid skeleton shaped by a blood-colored, juicy flesh. Weird… the sexual orientation and the gender identity here are pretty hard to define. Is that because of the eclectic assemblage (Gamay, Pinot Noir, Mondeuse)?? Dressed with a beautiful, bewitching label, this exquisite creature leaves you with a hypnotic feeling. A mysterious complexity that makes you want to go back to it again, and again… and again (from West Side Wine, NYC, 2011)

Can’t see the video clip? Click HERE

Domaine Robert Serol Vieilles Vignes 2008

I recently made a mental list of my favorite grapes while trying to fall asleep, and Gamay was #2 on my list of reds. Here’s why. A sub-$15 bottle of super juicy, highly acidic light bodied wine from the Loire Valley that goes with anything and everything. Really delicious. The tasting notes on the vineyard’s web site says “aromas of black fruit and red fruit with spice and mineral.” Sounds right. 

Great wine.

Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terre Dorées FRV 100 Mousseux Rosé

This sparkling Gamay makes me silly! Strawberries, forest berries, small saplings, and fruitcake on the nose. A bit of residual sweetness on the palate with many of the same flavors as on the nose. Similar style to a Moscato d’Asti - something fun to play with!

4/5 bones



7.5% abv

Beaujolais (Burgundy), FRANCE

A Day of Valdiguié

Submitted by Sarah

One of our interesting harvest milestones is when our Valdiguié (pronounced val-dee-ghee-ay) is brought in from Monterey County. Bins of these plump, sweet-smelling clusters waiting outside the winery signal that harvest is finally coming to a close. This unique, large-berried variety (similar to Gamay Noir) is almost always the last to come in because it requires a longer hang time in order to ripen properly. Our vineyards in the Arroyo Seco are perfect for Valdiguié, as the high afternoon wind velocities and cool summer climate lead to one of the longest growing seasons in the state.

When making Valdiguié, our winemakers use techniques that keep tannin from developing. They first use carbonic maceration, an Old World practice in which the whole clusters of fruit first ferment on their own without yeast. They also press it early.

The result is our J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié, a beautifully colored, fruity and delicate wine served slightly chilled. Perfect for the holidays, it’s a popular base for mulled wine. Like Gamay Noir, it’s also best when it’s young.

Yesterday, I followed Red Winemaker Steve Peck and Assistant Red Winemaker Brenden Wood around the winery to get a few snapshots. Here are some things I overheard:

“When the berries are done with carbonic maceration, they develop carbon dioxide inside and are slightly alcoholic. I love to taste them. They’re like that candy, Pop Rocks. They sort of explode in your mouth. It’s probably my favorite part of harvest."   -Brenden, on making Valdiguié

“Carbonic maceration was really popular in the 80s!” –Steve, while smelling the whole clusters fermenting without yeast

"You can see the Botrytis on this cluster.” -Steve
“The noble rot! It makes it makes the Valdiguié peppery.” -Brenden

“You know, it’s like when little kids ask their parents, ‘Daddy, how do you remember how to get to Grandma’s house?’ I don’t know. You just do." -Steve, when asked how he remembers all the crucial steps that go into managing more than 200 lots of wine.

As harvest comes to a close, we look forward with anticipation toward this vintage of J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié, and all the other 2011 J. Lohr wines made by our talented winemaking team!

"commencer! svp!"

quality day. it was the last day of our language and civilization courses. then for our reunion at rennes deux (as you can see in the reblogged post), we had a wine tasting slash wine education class. drinking wine for class? um. yes please. title comes from me and kat’s created chant for our wine course to start.

we tried four wines: two whites and two reds. we haaaad: 

+ porriere 2011: chardonnay
+ domaine 2009: sauvignon
+ gamay 2009
+ syrah 2009

i think my favorite was the syrah, but they were all quite tasty! even kathryn liked them!

tonight: kathryn, miranda et moi drank some cider and chatted.

tomorrow is the first day of my courses with CIREFE, however, i don’t have any! i am going to go to psychopathology and clinical psychology of children a la fac as they say. which is an expression for the university with the real frenchies. hopefully, i can follow along well enough. if so, i am planning to audit the class for the rest of the semester.

bed time! class doesn’t start until 10:30 tomorrow. so excited to sleep in.