Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Another Find from the Beaujolais: 2005 Domaine Jean-Marc Burgaud Régnié Vallières

Jean-Marc Burgaud was named the #1 up-and-coming producer of wine in Burgundy by Clive Coates in Tom Stevenson's 2007 Wine Report. Now I know why.

The 2005 Domaine Jean-Marc Burgaud Régnié Vallières (Chronicle Wine Cellar, $12.95) is an elegant wine made from grapes harvested from 40-year-old gamay vines. After harvest, the grapes underwent both the traditional carbonic maceration process common in the Beaujolais, as well as 6 additional months of aging. Its color is a true ruby, and there are the pronounced varietal aromas of bing cherry and raspberries characteristic of gamay. These aromas are echoed in the flavors, along with a bit of carmelized brown sugar. I think that this wine is age-worthy, as it has a dusty grip of tannins and may well continue to develop and improve over the next 1-2 years.

Gamay wines like those from the Beaujolais are extremely easy to match with food, even hard to pair foods like ham. Gamay wines are a perfect, fruity foil for its pink saltiness. I love ham in sandwiches and in other things more than on its own, and so for dinner tonight we had Nigella Lawson's Pasta with Ham, Peas, and Cream. This makes excellent use of holiday leftovers you may have tucked in the freezer, or you can buy a small ham and cut it into chunks. It was wonderful with the Burgaud wine, with its fruity, fresh acidity.

Beaujolais wines are usually very good QPR and this wine is no exception. It is simple, fruity, and engaging, and not rustic or rough. If you haven't had a cru beaujolais lately, this is certainly one to note down and try. You may not be able to find precisely this wine at a retailer near you, but Wine-Searcher does have a few other bottlings from this producer, in case you would like to seek one out.

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