Wines from Fleurie, grown on pink granite, are a bit more pretty and aromatic. Wines from Morgon, with its weightier, granitic soils are typically more sturdy and rounded, a touch more resilient and concentrated. Go further south and up the hill to find the more volcanic, easy draining soils of Cotê de Brouilly, where the wines are lean and elegant with a fine spine of minerality.
Someone once told me that if you’re ever unsure about a specific Beaujolais Cru, just say the name out loud – the way it sounds reflects the style. It’s not an outright rule but it can be a bit of fun.
With all this diversity it makes sense that Beaujolais should be cropping up on wine lists. The differing styles are not only functional but also friendly with a variety of cuisines and proteins.
Who to drink? Without going into the history of the region and those producers who made and continue to make it great, I’ll just say that some of my go to producers are Chateâu Thivin, Daniel Bouland, Jean Foillard and Domaine Chignard.
Pinot Noir is a noble and important grape, and its consumption and understanding is integral to being a wine drinker. But for me, Beaujolais is passion, the reason why we drink and enjoy wine – immediate, welcoming and approachable, but sensuous and distinguished. At times flirty and definitely a little cocky, Beaujolais is that first date you never want to end.
Sure, I guess I’m arguing for a bit of vinous polygamy. But hey, varietals are the spice of life.