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Our bestselling Beaujolais every year and an easy win for your summer wine rack. The 2018 is classic Beaujolais-Villages, ripe yet fresh and balanced with an intense, vibrant black-fruit perfume. Take your Sunday roast up a notch – enjoy this with the crispy skin and juicy meat of a barbecued whole chicken.
Product Code: BJ7902
View all products by Les Vins Aujoux
This is the source of the bulk of our Beaujolais for the last 50 years, and many members will also have tried the fruits of The Society’s work with this excellent Beaujolais-based négoce in the form of our bestselling white wine, The Society’s White Burgundy, sourced from the Mâcon. Dealing with a négociant allows The Wine Society to pick and choose, often blending together from different estates in order to end up with a wine that is better than any of its parts.Négoces have had a huge part to play in the recent history of Beaujolais, some of it not so good but some of it very positive. For all its apparent simplicity, Beaujolais is a complicated region that is often the victim of its own capricious climate with late frosts and violent hailstorms a common recurrence. The one name that stands out for us is Dépagneux: Jean Dépagneux was the last of this illustrious merchant family who, with his partners, bought up a list of ailing names such as Aujoux, which had made its name selling Beaujolais to the once profitable Swiss market. Jean retired about a dozen years ago and his place was taken by a young and talented oenologist from Viré called Jean-Marc Darbon. One consequence of the change has been the meteoric rise in the quality of The Society’s White Burgundy.
At its best, there is little that can match Beaujolais’ fragrant, sappy, fruity flavours. Beaujolais tends to be a delight to drink upon release; indeed, extolling the wines' youthful virtues has been hugely successful. At one time more than half the crop of this region was hurriedly fermented and sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, released on the third Thursday of November and raced to market in as many inventive ways as possible. Its cheap price and fun image made it popular for a while but, inevitably, quality suffered and Nouveau fell out of fashion in the face of new world competition.Away from Beaujolais Nouveau, another kind of Beaujolais continued to be made, often using very traditional methods of production and reflecting a complexity of terroir that still comes as something of a surprise.Beaujolais lies between the towns of Mâcon and Lyon with most of the vineyard confusingly coming into the Département du Rhône. The vast majority of the region’s 18,500 hectares is planted with a single red grape: gamay, or to be more precise, gamay noir à jus blanc. Often densely planted to help control the vines vigour, and therefore yields, trained low and pruned hard, they are need at least a short spell of real heat to ripen properly. In terms of soil, gamay does not do well on sedimentary rock types. Much of Beaujolais is granite with outcrops of schist in part of Morgon or Andesites in the Cote de Brouilly. A little over 200 hectares is planted with chardonnay, which is growing in popularity because it is easier to sell and can be turned into sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne. White Beaujolais is sold either as Beaujolais blanc or Beaujolais-Villages blanc, and the best comes areas with chalk in the soil.Below is a list of the appellations, but it is worth mentioning that the most important factor in the wines’ quality is the grower. Beaujolais: Mostly from the south where the soils are often of a limestone called pierres dorées, which makes excellent building material. But there are granites as well and a great many styles of wine possible though a major part of the productions continues to be made as Nouveau.Beaujolais-Villages: These wines come from the north and are set among the ten crus and planted on the same granitic soils. 38 parishes are allowed to produce Beaujolais-Villages. They offer a midway point between generic Beaujolais and the greater complexity of the crus. The ten crus, from north to south, are: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. Each have their own unique variation on the local geology and topography, climatic conditions and character; from the light, fragrant Chiroubles to the richer, more concentrated Moulin-à-Vent with its ability to age and comparison in great years with top Burgundies. Within these crus are specific vineyards, or climats, with deserved reputations for high-quality, such as Poncié in Fleurie or Côte du Py in Morgon. For a more thorough examination of these crus and their characteristic traits please see our How to Buy Beaujolais guide in the Wine World & News section of our website.
As with Bordeaux, we bought Beaujolais heavily in 2018 because the vintage is excellent. The wines have perfume and plenty of vibrant fruit whilst maintaining freshness, as acidity levels were good.
"Quite a deep youthful colour. Good fruit. Clean and balanced on the palate."
"Quite a deep youthful colour. Good fruit. Clean and balanced on the palate."
The Guardian 20th Jun 2020
"If you live on your
own, this popular, own-label bottling is the ideal summer treat. Also available
in full-size bottles for £7.95 [BJ7901] - Fiona Beckett"
"I have previously recommended this wine in half bottles and I am pleased to say that the 2017 vintage is just as good."
Mr Neil Butter (02-Aug-2019)
"I recommended an earlier vintage and I am pleased to say that this version is just as good. It is very reasonably priced and, although 4 stars may be stretching it slightly, this wine in half bottles is more than acceptable for everyday drinking. Strongly recommended."
Mr Neil Butter (15-Aug-2018)
"A very pleasant and reasonably-priced Beaujolais Villages. Just the job. Recommended without reservations."
Neil Butter Esq (14-Jul-2016)
"It's not a bad wine by any means and there's a place for it -- a light, simple, inoffensive and inexpensive bistro wine -- but it is certainly on the light side. I'd say it's light to medium bodied, on the fresh/high acid side with raspberry flavours dominant. It's not as much of an all-rounder as I'd been hoping. A glass with quiche and salad for lunch would be pleasant but I'd be looking for something with more depth to go with a meaty dish or savour on its own."
Mr Robert Trevelyan (19-Apr-2016)
"Definitely not what you would expect from a simple Beaujolais Village, this feels serious. It has depth and a lovely intensity of flavours. A very well made wine,"
Mr Thomas Choong (22-Oct-2015)
"Excellent Beaujolais, good fruit extract, served cellar cool gives the wine an extra edge. Highly enjoyable!"
Mr Malcolm J Davies (16-Nov-2013)
"I'm a really big fan of this wine. Cellar cool, as the bottle provides, and this is a feather-light, smooth-drinking beaujolais, with a plenty of red fruit, almost strawberry on the finish."
Mr Asa Joseph (11-Apr-2013)
"On first tasting this wine we were disappointed as it seemed bland and raw. There seemed to be a 'nothingness' to the wine. We agree it has a beautiful colour and the aroma promised a flavour it didn't deliver. We tried it with food and whilst the flavour improved somewhat it is not a wine we would purchase again."
Mr Michael Aldridge (20-Feb-2010)
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