Jean-Paul Brun’s Brilliant Trio of ’05 Beaujolais Exclusively at Chambers St. Wines

4/2/2007 -

(Denise Louis, Jean-Paul Brun and Joe Dressner, photo D. Lillie)

Is there a better value in the wine world than good, un-spoofilated, indigenously yeasted grower Beaujolais? Well if you are reading this you probably agree and have a great stash of numerous Beaujolais in the cellar. Now buy some more racks, knock down a wall and do whatever you need to do to make room in your cellar for 2005 Beaujolais. It is the best young vintage we have tasted and it has everything you want out of Beaujolais and more. Great complexity, very pretty fruit, taut structures, refreshing acidities and as usual with Beaujolais, low prices The great thing about Beaujolais is that they have "fruit without weight" as a customer remarked the other day when talking about a bottle of Beaujolais we recommended to him.

Jean-Paul Brun makes Beaujolais the way it is supposed to taste. The old-fashioned way, you could say. These are not overly sweet wines that smell like bananas. Brun uses wild yeasts so there is an authenticity to the wines that is unfortunately uncommon in the region. They represent their respective terroirs as the Morgon tastes like Morgon and the Mouilin-A-Vent tastes and smells like Moulin-A-Vent. Certain growers in the Beaujolais you can put twenty of their wines in front of you blind and they all taste and smell the same. The homogenization of wine is not just contained to so called "international wines" it can also affect a region. Until the rise of growers like Brun, Chermette, Coudert and many others like them Beaujolais had the rap of the first wine being released in France every year. Now we know better as there is a sea of great wines from all corners of this great region.

Jean-Paul Brun made a great trio of Beaujolais from cru's that up until the past few years we have not seen from him. A Morgon, a Moulin-A-Vent & a Cote de Brouilly comprise the brilliant trio. If you want and exercise in pure Gamay and terroir transparency then these are the wines for you.

Cote de Brouilly does not get that much respect when compared to the sexier crus (Morgon, Fleurie) of Beaujolais. Once you open the bottle though you will be left wondering why Cote de Brouilly does not get more respect as this is world class wine. Taut, structured and very rich this wine has serious minerality from the volcanic soils that are comprised of mainly granite and schist. There is also a deep concentrated core of black fruits that is expressive now but will ideally benefit from a few years in the cellar to flesh out. Just great stuff and it sells for a song.

Now Morgon is about as sexy as it can get for cru Beaujolais. Always considered the most "Pinot-like" and one of the longer aging crus, the '05 Brun Morgon has vivid raspberry and cherry fruit with crackling acidity. There is an understated elegance to the wine with a crunchy (acid, fruit) finish that really fleshes out once the wine is properly aerated. The soils are mainly schist and broken granite. There is a nice minerality to the wine but Morgon is more about fruit and mouthfeel than minerality.

Moulin-A-Vent might be at the top of the quality hierarchy due to its legendary aging capability, rich manganese soil its very unique character. The aromas are very complex, the body is full and, of course, Moulin-A-Vent has tremendous structure which enables it to age much longer than most if not all of the other crus. Brun's version in '05 is dynamite. This has aromatic fireworks. Spice, flowers, black fruits, cassis and complex minerality abound on this nose. The palate has wonderful purity, deeply concentrated fruit and ripe sweet tannin. Great wine that has a long life ahead of it.

Domaine de Terres Dorees (Jean-Paul Brun) Cote de Brouilly - $14.99

Domaine de Terres Dorees (Jean-Paul Brun) Morgon - $16.99

Domaine de Terres Dorees (Jean-Paul Brun) Moulin-A-Vent - $17.99

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