• 2019 Cru Beaujolais: Dutraive, Yann Bertrand, & More

    2019 Cru Beaujolais: Dutraive, Yann Bertrand, & More

    2009's hot growing season brought a bold, ripe personality to Beaujolais that year, and the style pulled in many new Bojo drinkers, myself included. If 2009 was the watershed moment for Cru Beaujolais, 2019 is a fitting vintage for comparison ten years later.

    These days, though, Cru Bojo fans are crossing their fingers in hopes of a relatively cool growing season that'll result in wild herbs, snappy, tart red fruit, and a pronounced mineral spine. Moving forward, 2019 is as good as it gets! It was again a hot growing season, but vignerons are much more suited to managing threats from drought and burn. And compared to recent vintages, 2019 has an underlying tension and crisper form.

    If I had to pick one producer who nailed this vintage's cooler-side-of-the-pillow, it'd have to be Guy Breton, as he's always one to pick on the earlier side and limit extraction, ensuring levity and freshness are the key markers. While some still love the bursting Beaujolais style, the producers listed below are my favorites in 2019. I dug deep to find the most classic examples of the vintage!

    Shop 2019 Beaujolais

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Gateway to the Crus: 2020 Lapalu Brouilly

    Gateway to the Crus: 2020 Lapalu Brouilly

    Jean-Claude Lapalu's 100% Gamay wines stand out from the usual suspects' style largely because of his early influences. Although he idolized Jules Chauvet like all natural-minded Beaujolais producers, the wines that initially pulled him in were those such as Domaine Gramenon in Southern France.

    In many ways, the domaine's positioning at the southern "Gateway to the Crus" harnesses the warmth and spirit endowed from the Rhone and Provence. Lapalu's entire range highlights those tell-tale Southern Cru Beaujolais lavender accents along with ripe cherry, plum, and an iron-inflected mineral finish.

    Extraction through carbonic and semi-carbonic fermentation is kept modest. Aging vessels here range from glass-lined tanks to concrete, used barrique, and tonneaux. And sulfur is used very sparingly, often only in small amounts at bottling. These ultra-limited production cuvées may be difficult to source, but the pricing delivers a welcomed relief given their stellar quality!

    Shop Jean-Claude Lapalu

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Morgon Masterpiece

    Morgon Masterpiece

    From release through decades in bottle, no Cru Beaujolais producer consistently thrills like Jean Foillard. Young producers, like Yann Bertrand, call him a mentor, and other contemporaries call him the Morgon Master. Regardless of where your preferences lie within the unparalleled values found in Cru Beaujolais, Foillard is the benchmark.

    Yes, Foillard's wines are breathtaking after decades in bottle, but the true gift of Cru Beaujolais is its unrivaled approachability upon release. These top cuvées will improve and transform with time, but for those who don't care to wait so long, the silky, harmonious, and pure-fruited elements and perfect focus from day one are how Foillard earned his fame. He offers the best of both worlds!

    Shop Jean Foillard

    Posted by Max Kogod