France: Burgundy

Heart of Beaujolais

Southern crus and communes from Lancié to Tarare
By Michael Edwards

This Guide was last updated on 26 April 2011
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Main wine styles


Most of the production here is at best, fresh, light, easy-drinking wine traditionally drunk chilled. Unfortunately Beaujolais Nouveau is often poor and confected as it had to be made quickly given that the grapes were still on the vine a mere six to eight weeks before sale. However, Beaujolais Villages and the Beaujolais Crus wines in particular can be full of joyous red fruit characters, fuller bodied and with the possibility of improving with age. Indeed some of the older wines are said to take on the characteristics of Pinot Noir! Less than two per cent of Beaujolais wines are now oak-aged. This is the detrimental result of misapplied technology, of high temperature, thermo- fermentations used even in the making of better-regarded Villages and cru wines which have often become depersonalised. However, as shown by producers selected in this Guide, some of the young producers are making a welcome return to tradition using oak maturation (usually large, oak barrels).


In this southern micro-region only a small amount of white is made, simple, dry fruity Chardonnay, rarely oaked.


Dry, fresh, light and delicate.

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