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blog swirl & savor

Falling Head over Heels for Jean Marc Burgaud Beaujolais...

Beth Ribblett

For those of you who still think Beaujolais is only that fruity, young, usually not very good wine that is released in November each year, these wines will forever change your mind...for those of you who know and appreciate what good Cru Beaujolais is, you can't help but be impressed. Cru Beaujolais is made in the the top 10 villages, each village putting their stamp of terroir on their wines; from the structured Moulin a Vent, dense Morgons, to the elegant Fleuries - these wines can give more quality for the money than Burgundy.

So what makes these 2 wines so special? They are made by Jean Marc Burgaud, a conscientious, talented winemaker who makes extraordinary wine from his 19 hectares of land with the majority being in Morgon's famed Cotes du Py (13ha).  Jean Marc and his wife Christine, both from winemaking families,  have been purchasing very select, prime parcels since starting their winery in 1989 and have grown to 19 hectares with the other 6 in Regnie and Beaujolais Village.

Old vines in the Cote de Py

Old vines in the Cote de Py

The youngest of the vines are 50+ years old and the vineyards have not seen chemicals or non-organic inputs for 10+ years and all work is done by hand and horse.  Jean Marc does high density planting at 10,000 vines per hectare which he feels is extremely important in producing quality gamay.

In the cellar, vinification is by traditional semi-carbonic maceration with varied length – seven days for the Beaujolais Villages and up to 15 days for some of his Morgon parcels in the Côte du Py.  For the majority of his wines he uses cement vats to preserve the Gamay's fruit and florality, but uses 1/4 old barrique for the Côte du Py.

These wines are hard to beat for quality, craftsmanship, age-worthiness and affordability - 4 descriptors you don't always see together in the wine world these days.  When we tasted them in Paris with Thomas Calder last fall they were a "must have" for James, me and Michael and I am thrilled to have them in the store and in my home...

Jean Marc Burgaud

Jean Marc Burgaud

We have 2 of his reds in stock and his Beaujolais Blanc will be on the shelves next week.  All are under $25 and are truly a joy to drink.
-2015 Morgon Les Charmes: "Les Charmes" is an 85-year old vineyard west of Côte du Py in the Cru village of Morgon. Structure and complexity give this wine the ability to age nicely over the next decade. Les Charmes is fresh and alive and right away you notice the ripe, savory flavors that make you want to take another sip. 

Vinous Media, 93 points: 2015 Burgaud Les Charmes - Bright violet. Highly expressive, pure aromas of fresh dark berries, candied flowers and minerals. Sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated blackberry, cherry and spicecake flavors that show surprising vivacity for their depth. Effortlessly plays power off finesse and finishes very long and sappy, revealing a lingering violet flourish and noteworthy clarity.

- 2015 Morgon Côte du Py: The  Côte du Py is known for producing the deepest, richest and most complex wines of all the 10 Crus in Beaujolais. These are 100 year old Gamay vines on the Côte du Py hill rising above the village of Morgon. Comprised of schist soils this acclaimed slope is known for producing Beaujolais Cru every bit as complex as top Burgundy. This wine is rich, but with that depth comes amazing balance and finesse. The texture is silky and soft showing plushy flavors of black cherry, plum and spice.

Vinous Media, 93 points: 2015 Burgaud Morgon Côte du Py  -Deep ruby. Heady, mineral-tinged blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille aromas, along with hints of cola and licorice. Sappy, penetrating and sharply focused black raspberry and boysenberry flavors smoothly blend power and delicacy and pick up an allspice nuance as the wine opens up. Closes impressively long and sweet, displaying subtle tannins and echoes of exotic spices and smoky minerals.