Helen’s blog

Thoughts and tastings from Helen Savage, wine writer.

Beaujolais: can 2009 mark a new beginning?

After just a couple of days in the Beaujolais two things are clear to me: the 2009 vintage is magnificent and the economic crisis has hit the region hard. The consequence of the crisis over the last few years, which here predates the global economic downturn, has resulted in some growers abandoning Gamay, especially in the Bas Beaujolais. The prefer to try their luck, alas, with Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier and sell it as humble Vin de France. But the 2009, as fine a vintage as I have ever tasted, shows just how good Gamay can be: exotically fruity, rich and complex, but with seductively soft tannins, even in the very top wines, and a delightful freshness. Surely a wine like this has got to make a comeback? Great producers like Thierry Condemine at the Chateau de Julienas remain unrepresented in the UK. Please will someone take a punt on him? His wines are quite superb – and the 2009, not yet in bottle, is a steal.

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