Beaujolais: a wine area that is often overlooked and underrated. However, it is the source of many a 'great value' wine-find these days. I picked up this delicious unoaked 2008 Pascal Granger Moulin à Vent, a few weeks ago at my local wine store. Jam-packed with flavor, it is well structured and juicy. And, it makes a great pizza wine.
I loved the vivid ruby color of this wine. Intense nose of ripe black fruit — blackberry, raspberry, hints of cherry, floral notes, licorice and a distinct stony minerality that added focus. Nicely fleshy with supple tannins that had just the right amount of grip, flavor mirrored the nose, but showing more of the minerality and savory earthy notes. While bursting with refreshing fruit, this wine is solidly grounded in its terroir — minerality a defining feature, all the way to the moderately long finish.
At the table
Beaujolais is a wine that can take you right through the year. It is a great warm weather red, especially when served a little chilled. The bright acidity and supple tannins make this Beaujolais Cru a very versatile player at the table working well with lighter dishes such as quiche, grilled cheese sandwich or pizza, as well as more copious chick and pork dishes like Coq au Vin or roast loin of pork with a blackberry sauce.
About Moulin à Vent, the Crus Beaujolais and Pascal Granger
Beaujolais is a French wine region. It is just south of the Mâconnais area in Burgundy and north of the Rhône Valley. The Beaujolais Crus are ten named communes in the Beaujolais wine whose wines are considered so distinctive to merit their own individual AOC appellation. Moulin à Vent is one of those communes. Of the ten crus the wines from Moulin à Vent are considered the most full-bodied, concentrated and long ageing.
The Domaine Pascal Granger is over 200 years old. It is an artisanal family owned business with about 14 hectares of vines spread across a number of the different Cru. This wine, made from their vines in Moulin à Vent was fermented in traditional cement vats and under went a partial carbonic maceration, which is typical in Beaujolais. After fermentation and pressing off the skins, the wine rested in stainless steel tank for six months before bottling.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
Previous Wine of the Week: 2010 Château Bonnet, Entre Deux-Mers
(Image: Rosenthal Wine Merchant)