Damien Coquelet, -Villages, 2015, „Les Bourrons“, Red-wine from France
My personal association of Beaujolais is bad if not appalling. The hype of Beaujolais Primeur: much too young, extreme fruity wine of low quality bought and drunk by British. Yes, British are known for bad taste – and as much as many of good British friends of mine would disagree – majority of British at least have a very strange taste.
When I was 17 years old, I worked two night per week in a Kneipe / Pub called “Fürst Ludwig” in Western German city Saarbrücken. Usually most of guests drunk Pils (Pilsener beer), but the fever of the few days of the first available Primeur were like the charm of Oktoberfest in Munich. Suddenly “Fürst Ludwig” was decorated with little French flags, flûte but only flûte, always the same three chansons which people from Saarbrücken could sing were playing the entire evening and almost everyone could abruptly speak French – at least after a liter of this terrible drink. Since then I knew, also French culture has very different faces and (!) I would never ever drink Beaujolais (again).
As much truths you can find in this memories as much I may admit that a fault is half redressed. There is more than just Primeur. As much as I would love to stay ignorant I had to change my mind after I tasted Coquelet’s Beaujolais.
The wine area of Beaujolais lays in the north of Lyon and borders to Burgundy. There is no Pinot Noir as in Burgundy, all vines are gamay, a rare sort. I haven’t heard too much about this grape honestly speaking, it seems it is really almost only present in the wine area of Beaujolais. It delivers fruity, sweet and half transparent wine. Majority is loveless mass production. Many vineries are only eager to sell their young wine as it is fashionable, probably very profitable and fast money. As long as the British buy….
Aside of this there is more. We only should look more careful, don’t be blind as me. Because if you open your eyes and delete “Primeur” you will find some really interesting wine. Some are called only Beaujolais. But 38 communes are allowed to use the brand Beaujolais-Villages. In the northern part of this wineregion there are communes which are also the name of the wines which are mostly Grand Cru which means the top production.
This said, Damien Coquelet – based in Vauxrenard – is an organic winemaker. The wine is not filtered, fermentation and maturing without any special or extravagant efforts – and you can taste it: it has a very natural, fresh smell and taste of fruitiness which doesn’t appear too sweet or heavy. I like the balance between aroma of sour cherries, smell of rose but also strawy tough which secures a certain dryness. In comparison to my memories when I was 17 it is not obtrusive, rather even little bit tender. Very easy and straight forward good! Well done! Mentioned fresh flavors remain in your mouth for a while, inveigling to sip more although I believe drinking more than a half bottle one may end up with some headache. It is certainly advisable to keep this wine for one or even two years in the cellar, 2015 is really young.
This wine is a lovely summer red wine. It is nothing for every day! Please cool it down, not as cold as a white-wine. 15 degree Celsius could be ideal. It should fit to any light summer dish.
In meantime I also tried another Beaujolais of the same winemaker which is called Chiroubles “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes”. This is higher quality and more expensive. It did not convince me as much as this really young one.
The only question left is whether you can buy this wine in Great Britain somewhere, too.
I could not find a webpage of the vinery. In Germany you can get the wine at Berlin’s winestore viniculture: https://www.viniculture.de/detail/index/sArticle/280. But if you google, you will find more stores.