Beaujolais Nouveau

The Beaujolais area, part of the greater Burgundy region, has always produced
young wines – largely intended to be consumed as a celebration of the current
year’s harvest and as a reward for the vintner’s employees; however, shipping it
abroad as an export is a relatively contemporary concept, having only become
popularized around the middle of the 1950’s and hitting a peak around 1980.

In general, over-production by bulk-wine producers have given this varietal wine a
mixed reputation, confusing ever-more sophisticated drinkers with questionable
and off-putting flavor characteristics and descriptors such as “bubblegum”? A
few select producers though, have continued to consistently deliver high quality,
easy-drinking, light-bodied and charming wines that are possible with the Gamay
grape variety. Among these is Joseph Drouhin, hailing originally from another
noteworthy wine region: Chablis. In 1880 he founded the Maison bearing his
name in the city of Beaune, with subsequent family generations continuing the
refinement; becoming pioneers in mastering the “Nouveau” winemaking style.

Note that the “Villages” designation represents a significantly better grade of
sourced grapes, resulting in higher bottle pricing than standard Beaujolais. Dare
to pay a bit more for this offering – buy several and drink over the next 3 months.

Beaujolais Nouveau
VINTAGES – Product #113266 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 15.95
12.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: D

Made in: Beaujolais, France
By: Joseph Drouhin S.A.
Release Date: November 20, 2014

Tasting Note
Garnet coloured with a distinct bouquet of ripe black cherries. Aged for several
months in stainless steel vats only, so may be suitable for drinkers that might
otherwise be adverse to the elevated Histamine levels that might result from
red wines being aged in Oak Barrels. Try serving very lightly chilled as aperitif
or with seasonal poultry and game dishes.

Corbières Alert

Proudly displaying the dramatic cross of the Visigoths dating to the 7th century,
later known as the Languedoc Cross or Cross of the Cathars, this vintner’s
very apt emblem also includes 2 doves drinking from a single cup – symbolizing
both sharing and communion. Begun by father Georges, a winemaking pioneer
in the Languedoc region who worked diligently to foster a spirit of cooperation
by local growers in the 1970’s, this benchmark winery has consistently been
at the forefront of quality development for an impressive range of regionally
distinctive wine styles. The multi-generational philosophy is being carried forward
by the founder’s son. Namesake of the current, burgeoning portfolio of vineyards,
Gérard Bertrand, now has its primary facilities based in Narbonne.

The Corbières terroir stretches from the base of the Pyrenees in the southwest
to Montagne Noire (Black Mountain) further north. A kaleidoscope of geology
and complex climates, the combinations serve to produce outstanding vines and
resulting, herb-scented wines. The prolific region was granted their official AOC
classification in 1985. The soils here consist of gravely clay and limestone with a
surface cover of stone pebbles, providing good drainage and healthy root stock.
The South of France, as a whole, is playfully described as a European wine lake,
containing 40% of France’s total vineyard acreage. The process of replacing
traditional, high-yielding grape varieties with lower yielding varieties to produce
smaller quantities of better wine, continues. What also carries forward, is that
they remain comparatively inexpensive and outstanding value.

A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is the traditional output from an
arid landscape where no crop thrives except vines. Often counter-intuitive, the
most challenging terroirs yield the most interesting wine. Grapevines do well by
beingstressed. Here, they are stressed by wind, heat and poor organic soil. The
odd appropriateness of this land is manifest by creating a rippling sea of lush
green leaves. Stony white Limestone outcrops, tough, spiky Garrigue (herb-like
bushes), lines of Cyprus tree windbreaks and Terracotta covered stonework
houses, completes the complex picture.

The best Corbières wines can now hold their own with classic French vintages
of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Though you will find many bottlings from this prolific
vintner on the regular LCBO shelves, note that this limited release is only found
in the Vintages section and represents a value well above the sticker price!


VINTAGES – LCBO Product #394288 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 18.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Roussillon, France
By: Gerard Bertrand
Release Date: Nov. 8, 2014

Tasting Note
This is a firm and spicy wine style that is best enjoyed with foods such as stuffed
peppers, meatballs in spiced tomato and olive sauce, grilled meats of all sorts
and ripe cheeses.