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Here endeth the lesson (Beaujolais, France)

Fourteen and some months after I left Australia I arrived at my last day visiting wineries, and it certainly has been quite a journey. As it turns out I am very glad to be finishing in Burgundy, partly because I generally love the wines and they are amongst my favourite in Europe, but also as Burgundy is such a diverse and often complicated region that I was glad to have had all the previous experience before visiting. Having already visited the Chablis and the Cote d’Or on my previous trip in 2010 there was very little that surprised me in these regions and it was more a question of familiarising myself further. South of the Cote de Beaune on the other hand was a different story, as not only did I know very little about these appelations but I had had almost no tasting experience with them. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to secure any appointments either in the Cote Challonaise or the Cote Maconnaise and had to be content with driving through parts of the area to see the type of landscape it is. One of the more famous appelations in the Cote Maconnaise is the village of Chardonnay, not because of the quality of the wines but because it is supposedly the birthplace of possibly my favourite white grape variety. Technically still part of Macon but a different appelation to the south is the famous Beaujolais which totally took me by surprise, and I was pretty happy to finish somewhere that did. The king of varieties here is gamay, and there are no other parts of the world that grow it in the quantity or quality they do here. There is a separate appelation for Beaujolais Blanc wines which are 100% chardonnay, but really it’s the gamay that makes this region what it is.

A cold day in Beaujolais

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Jacky Janodet – 13/12/2012

Beaujolais Blanc 2010
Very floral and fruity, bright pear and citrus cordial, quite intense and very fresh, very aromatic style. Bright crisp mineralic style, lots of apple and pear fruit, brisk clean limited oak or malolactic influence, perfectly fresh and crisp. Great aperitif but great with seafood as well.

Beaujolais Village 2010
Nice intense dark colour but quite light. Very quiet and delicate, fresh dark berries, cranberries and a little blood orange, also quite spicy. Very intense and fresh on the palate, spice comes through but is well integrated, expressive but bright crisp fruit, great acidity making it very food-friendly. Yes nice and peppery as well.

Chenas 2010
A little darker and more intense colour. Fuller earthier extraction, a little toasty and mushroomy, a little truffle influence. Quite fresh and wonderfully intense fruit, but great acidity and a very clean finish. Tannins are a little full at the moment for the structure, needs a little more time, very intense and concentrated. Maraschino cherry.

Moulin-a-vent 2011
Very rustic and stinky on the nose, somewhat oaky and perhaps a little bit over macerated, lacking brightness and freshness and fruit. Per haps even a little bit reductive. Very intense and tight on the palate, tannins are overwhelming things a lot, focused and intense through the middle palate with a touch of sweet dark fruit on the back, very spicy with acidity overwhelmed by tannin and fruit at the moment. Not alcoholic, just too young. Reduction blows away.

Jerome Janodet Saint-Amour 2010
Nice tight small dark berries, some pomegranates and even some dark radishes, quite fresh and spicy. Tight light and clean, very nice fresh fruits, cherries and strawberries, some good spice characters but showing some minerality as well. Clean and very light, might develop some complexity if given time in bottle. Very nicely balanced.

Jacky Janodet

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