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The Juice Growing season updates, exciting new domaines, or whatever gets us bubbling and fermenting...this is the Becky Wasserman Selection platform for news straight from the source.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Would you like a MacChardonnay with that?

This morning, Domaine Audras (Julienas, one of the fine Beaujolais crus) delivered samples of the 2005 vintage and of the 2003 special cuvee only recently bottled. You may think of Beaujolais as a wine to be drunk ASAP, gamay being defined as a featherweight grape. There are gamays and gamays; the small -berried variety planted several decades ago are indeed different, produce small quantities, and can be vinified in a Burgundian way rather than by the carbonic maceration process principally used for the 'nouveau' wines. We opened the 2005 and it is recklessly glorious, a diva, the perfectly executed goal in the World Cup. How then does a viticultural region such as the Beaujolais fall from grace? Is it the current taste for thickset wines ? A mistaken notion of noble grape varieties? Chardonnay has become so common that I will not be surprised when someone eventually brings me a chardonnay plant instead of flowers. Chardonnay grows everywhere and anywhere. In some locations it has the personality of an unbuttered, unhoneyed English muffin. It is a sucker for abuse. If alcohol becomes legal in all restaurants, we will have MacChardonnay, Chardo-Cola. The unloved gamay, happy on its granitic bed, is far more stubborn and will not take root just anywhere.



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