If you don’t know Cru Beaujolais wines, you’re missing out. These wines, made from 100% gamay, bear the name of their village (or Cru) on their labels: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. They’re some of the freshest, juiciest, mineral-driven red wines in the world, and, when compared to their Burgundian pinot noir counterparts, they’re screaming values.
I recently enjoyed a 2007 Brouilly (pronounced something like BREW-YEE) from Laurent Martray called “Cuvée Corentin.” I don’t know if there’s a better way to spend $10 (the price I paid at auction). Laurent Martray farms 5 hectares (a little more than 12 acres) of vines in the granite-laden soils of Brouilly. He produces three cuvees, a Côte de Brouilly “Les Feuillées,” a Brouilly Vieilles Vignes and this Brouilly “Cuvée Corentin.” The Corentin comes from 60-year-old gamay vines in a vineyard that was first planted in 1927. It’s only a mild stretch to say you can taste the history in the glass.
(France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Brouilly)