Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are the Beaujolais '05's Ready Yet?

Don't know about you, but lately I've been feeling the 2005 Beaujolais itch. The other night I finally decided to scratch. Before I tell you about that, here are the only other 2005's that I drank in the past year:

--A bottle of Desvignes Morgon Javernières, "Upper Tier," $22, Louis/Dressner Selections way back in late January was a lot less closed than I expected, showing great depth of fruit and earth, and seemed to me that it would become something great in time.

--A bottle of Diochon Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes, $20, Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant back in late March was unresolved and lacking in clarity, almost muddy. I had this wine several years ago and it was great then, so I have to assume that we caught this one in a closed and weird phase.

Anyway, I'd been itching to check in on the 2005's. One day last weekend I put together a lunch that seemed right, and so into the "cellar" I dug.

2005 Michel Tête Juliénas Domaine du Clos du Fief "Cuvee Prestige," $23, Louis/Dressner Imports. I've probably had a half a case of this wine, but none in the past couple years. The last bottle I drank sometime in early 2008 was raspy and harsh, closed. This bottle was really great and although the wine clearly can continue to age (and probably improve), based on this bottle, I think the wine is ready. The fruit character is soft, without the vivid brightness of youth, but it is equally charming and delicious. Like stewed strawberries as opposed to freshly picked. On the nose there are subtle gamy and earthy notes. It is a soft and alluring nose, very fine. The wine shows very mineral on the palate, with a layer of iron upon which the meaty fruit rests. It is very well balanced and structured, although the tannins are much rounder and softer than they were a couple of years ago. Especially if you have multiple bottles, I think this is worth checking in on - it's drinking very well.

What was the lunch that inspired me finally to crack open another '05 (I have only a mixed half-case in total, you see)? Nothing at all complicated. A kale salad dressed with a very little bit of anchovy mashed into some olive oil and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. And cauliflower sautéed in brown butter with caraway seeds. Thinking about the iron-y flavor of the kale made me think of Beaujolais - the mineral character of wines from Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, and Juliénas often reminds me of iron.

And so, what about you? Checked in on any of the 2005's recently? Any news to share?


Anonymous said...

Had a pretty fantastic '05 Descombes Brouilly V.V. about a month back - wouldn't say it was resolved or mature, but it was delicious in a primary, red-fruity way, with a little funkiness and earth discernible and a very attractive nose. My guess is that this would develop for a long time to come, but it was my only bottle of the Brouilly (I have few of the Morgon VV that I intend to leave for a while longer), so someone else will have the happy task of finding out.


Cliff said...

I've stayed strong. I had a bottle of Lapierre a year or so ago that wasn't really ready. That told me I need more patience. I am surprised to hear that Desvignes was showing so well. I'd have thought that would be one of the slower ones to come around.

Sean said...

I've been holding off as well on my remaining '05's. Just had a bottle of the Lapierre Morgon '09 as a bit of a memoriam to M. Lapierre...Sad to read that he passed on.

On the flip side, I had a 1991 Dom. Savoye Morgon a few weeks back that was a very interesting creature...All the fruit was gone but it had a combination of faded caramel & earth notes that made it a very interesting bottle to drink. I wonder if these Beaujolais bottlings from these great vintages have 20 years to offer...

Anonymous said...

I just had a Thivin Cote de Brouilly that was delicious, but still somewhat tight. It definitely could age for a couple more years. Wish I bought more!