Beaujolais 2012 - Difficult Vintage, Excellent Wines!

11/02/14 -

(Happy vines at Domaine Roland Pignard, Morgon)

Weather conditions in French vineyards during the 2012 growing season were far from easy, with cool, wet conditions from mid-Spring to late summer bringing mildew and oidium, not to mention hail in many areas, lowering yields by 50% or more. Better weather in late August and September, however, permitted the harvest of clean, mature fruit with relatively low alcohol levels and firm acidity, producing some oustanding wines, particularly in the Loire Valley and Burgundy. In the Beaujolais, after three relatively successful vintages, the lighter wines of 2012 have been generally ignored by the press and undiscovered by most consumers. Our initial reaction to the wines, however, was extremely positive. With lovely pure fruit aromas, alcohol levels ranging from 11 to 13%, firm acidity and excellent terroir expression, we found the wines delicious and refreshing for current drinking, with many wines capable of aging beautifully for five to seven years or more. The list below includes many of our favorite wines from 2012 (though sadly not including Christian Ducroux). If you're looking for "fruit-bombs" or 14% alcohol and high point scores you won't find them, but if you're looking for wines that epitomize what we love about Beaujolais, you'll find many great examples from this under-appreciated vintage!

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