The days of Beaujolais being synonymous with bubblegum and banana flavoured Nouveau wines are thankfully over. Australian wine-lovers have happily splashed about in the stream of excellent Beaujolais that has flowed into the country over the last few years.
Many of these newer arrivals have a depth, structure and cellaring potential that puts them firmly in the fine wine category. And with the sigh-inducing prices of red Burgundy, we can revel in their relative value.
Today, we celebrate the cerebral and serious side of Beaujolais, with new releases from DD favourite Domaine Marc Delienne and a spectacular set of new arrivals from Laura Lardy! They've gotten some rave reviews from the Aussie wine media recently, and they blew our collective socks clean off when we tried them last week. So, read on below for a tour de force of some excellent producers in this magical region!
"All the work is in the vines. People think winemakers are magicians. No: great winemakers are first peasants. Great workers."
- Marc Delienne, winemaker
In 2015 Marc Delienne actually made the 'vine' change that is the dream of many, giving up a corporate career in Paris to buy a Chateau in Beaujolais - specifically Chateau de l’Abbaye Saint Laurent d’Arpayé in the centre of Fleurie.
With the edginess and energy of a feisty young winemaker (though he was approaching his 60s) Delienne's lo-fi approach to making wines from some great old vines paid almost immediate dividends, becoming a figurehead of the new Beaujolais revolution, a term we just made up.
His 2019 vintage releases have just arrived and they are sublime, though in much smaller quantities than we have had in the past, such is his global popularity.
"It feels like Laura Lardy likes lighter, fresher, acid and mineral driven expressions of Beaujolais. All have huge drinkability... Delicious, is the message, and effortless."
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Laura Lardy comes from four generations of winemakers in Beaujolais - indeed we've enthusiastically offered the wines from her father, Lucien Lardy, just last year, and her brother also has his own wine project.
Laura now has her own label, taking over the viticultural management of vineyards rented from her father, and converting to organic practices.
She produces wines from four famous Beaujolais crus: Morgon, Fleurie, Chenas, and Moulin a Vent, using minimal sulphur, wild yeasts, and only old, neutral oak. Her wines were a revelation - straddling the line between joyful freshness and intense structure in beautiful fashion.
We'd be happy to drink any of these wines in five years time, or at 6pm this evening with some charcuterie and a nice pork pie. Get familiar with the fantastically easy drinking Laura Lardy range here.
We also have a huge offering of other fantastic producers to dip your toe into the beautiful waters of Beaujolais - find wines from Anne-Sophie Dubois, Domaine de la Grosse Pierre, Gregoire Hoppenot and Domaine de la Bonne Tonne in our growing Beaujolais collection.
Depth, presence and seduction is the motto, turned right up to 11. Santé!