With the French 2009 vintage, most of the attention was attracted to Bordeaux with another so-called vintage of the century, leaving other, less expensive and definitely less pretentious regions without the focus they might have deserved.
Among these regions, the Beaujolais, ill-reputed for its annual market flooding with Beaujolais Nouveau, came up with a picture-perfect harvest that is according to many, truly worthy of the hackneyed title vintage of the century (check this report for example).
And the best part is: Many of these wines, even by top-tier producers come with tiny prices compared to the rest of Burgundy and of course also Bordeaux.
My own first encounter with this vintage were some glasses of delicious, juicy Morgon by Domaine Marcel Lapierre which instantly captured my attention for this niche region. I hence ordered a mixed case of a few Crus from Beaujolais. Among these wines: this 2009 Moulin à Vent by Jean-Paul Brun of Domaine des Terres Dorées. Together with Marcel Lapierre and a few others, Brun is one of the Beaujolais icons and I was curious to find out what this wine had to offer.
The Moulin à Vent shows a robe of deep blackcurrant in the core and a transparent purple hue on the side. An intense color which already seems to reflect a very good vintage, appearing darker than the average Gamay wine. Even though the nose is fruity of cherries, it seems a bit closed at the moment. The palate is marked by a velvety texture and a structure of many fine grained tannins. The wine appears dense and light, monolithic and linear, juicy and mouth-filling, all at the same time. Notes of black cherries and graphite are discernible, but for now the wine doesn’t show many layers. One has the impression it is hiding its depth while still showing good presence. A strong tannic grip describes the back palate. Then, a slight bitterness comes up before a cool, medium-long finish.
It is more than obvious that the wine hasn’t reached its full potential yet. There is some kind of austere boldness that seems to overlap the other, more joyful components of the wine. There’s like a hidden dimension here that hopefully will surge one day. Inevitably, the image of the tip of an iceberg comes to my mind. Hence I’m quite curious on how this will show in a year’s time. I am expecting some “serious juice”, litterally! Joyful and fruity enough to go with light fare, pâté and cornichons, and powerful enough to match some more coarse meat dishes!
Anyone who loves wine should have 2009 Beaujolais within his scope!