Bordeaux Chauvinist gets lost in Beaujolais

This column was originally published on the Bordeaux Chauvinist’s websiteCquoi ce vin, or What is this wine

He advises on good value for money wines of all appellations, regions and countries (but he remains a Bordeaux Chauvinist). He remains anonymous, so he can review wines independently. Below, tries a budget Beaujolais white (who knew they existed?) – and likes it.

In a recent post, I wrote about the superiority of Burgundian whites for the purity of its Chardonnays. But there is another region too little known for the quality of its whites: Le Beaujolais.

Indeed, often mocked, underestimated, even despised, this region produces a dry white wine of very high quality, which is at the same price.It is very clearly superior to most of our dry white Bordeaux.

Only 2% of Beaujolais. AOC production is reserved for white wines (!). The king grape, you will understand, is Chardonnay.

Certainly our Burgundian friends make fabulous Chardonnays, but the price goes with it.

So, if you want to enter the world of this grape variety without spending too much, go ahead and buy a white Beaujolais.

The Domaine du Pressoir Fleuri 2018 Vieilles Vignes (Old Vines).

It is located in the town of Chiroubles (AOC communale du Beaujolais) and is vinified by Franck Brunel. On the first nose this, 100% Chardonnay, offers aromas of sweet white flowers and citrus.

With agitation, brioche and lightly buttery notes are revealed. The palate is fat, round with nice freshness on the mid-palate, the finish is clean ending with notes of grapefruit.

It’s a wine to eat! A wine that we will taste during a meal, with white meat (roast poultry, veal) or also with white fish (cod steak, perch fillet, sole meunière …)

I found this wine at Auchan Bouliac [in Bordeaux] for € 6.85! If you are not lucky enough to live in Bordeaux, check the said store in your region anyway.

Good tasting.

Editor’s noteBeaujolais is a French appellation wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. It’s famously an inexpensive light red. Whites from the region, which make up around 2% of its production, are made mostly with Chardonnay grapes though Aligoté is also permitted until 2024.

While we’ve just missed it, each year, on the third Thursday of November, falls the worldwide Beaujolais Nouveau  “happy day” where “tens of millions of people” (according to an official website, though probably fewer in reality) come together to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveaux 2020 releases.

Located north of Lyon in eastern France, Beaujolais overlaps Burgundy in the north and Rhône in the south. The Beaujolais vineyards fall over rolling hills over 55 kilometers from south to north. It rests on the foothills of the Massif Central to the west and the Saône plain to the east.

The price list at the Domaine du Pressoir Fleuri backs the Bordeaux Chauvinist’s claims of affordability.


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