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Cru Beaujolais vs. Nouveau Beaujolais

History of Beaujolais Wines

View of Fleurie village and vineyards, Beaujolais, France

Beaujolais has a reputation as the less prestigious sibling to Burgundy, the highly-regarded wine region directly to the north that is home to the pinot noir grape. This dates back to 1395, when Philipe the Bold, a Duke of Burgundy, outlawed the cultivation of the gamay grape in Burgundy, calling it a “bad and disloyal” vine.

Gamay grapes ripen earlier and are easier to farm than finicky pinot noir, and Philipe believed they made for a lower quality wine than the “elegant” pinot noir. Gamay grows well in the granite soils of Beaujolais, where it was still allowed to be grown, so it became associated with the region.

When the railway system connected Beaujolais to Paris in the nineteenth century, Beaujolais wine became a fashionable choice in the city’s bistros. Its popularity owed something to the fresh, fruity aromas of these wines, which came from a winemaking technique called carbonic maceration that was first studied by French scientist Louis Pasteur.

What’s the difference between Beaujolais (including Nouveau) and Cru Beaujolais?

beaujolais wine region

Though all are made in the same region (Beaujolais) and made with the same grape (Gamay), there are key differences. Here are the basic definitions:

Basic Beaujolais can come from anywhere within the Beaujolais region and blended into a single wine, which accounts for 56% of the total production of the region. Beaujolais Nouveau accounts for a significant percentage of Beaujolais production and must be fermented quickly and released the same year as the vintage.

Beaujolais Nouveau is festive, fun, but doesn’t age well, and not enormously complex. We like Nouveau for what it is: a reason to gather and enjoy a bottle of wine. Interestingly, none of the grapes used in Nouveau can come from the higher quality “Cru” regions. Almost all basic Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau come from the flat southern half of the area, where there is far more clay in the soil (as opposed to the granite further north).

Cru Beaujolais comes from the any of the ten designated “Crus” that make up the northern half of the Beaujolais region. Each has its own personality formed by the terroir of the land. Granite dominates this northern half of Beaujolais AOC, and each of the Crus brings something different to the table. Many Cru Beaujolais, especially from prime vintages, are ageworthy for 5-10 years.

Cru Beaujolais Tasting Night

On November 21st, 88 Lounge will guide you through the secrets of Beaujolais, the French Appellation where the amazing Gamay wines are made. They are loved for their delicate floral aromas, subtle earthy notes, and surprising ability to pair with food.
Most people associate Beaujolais with Nouveau Beaujolais, which is not much more than raw, newly fermented grape juice, and a marketing trick, but CRU BEAUJOLAIS on the other hand, have much to offer, as you will see at our tasting event!

Selection

Ferraud et Fils: “Les Charmes” Morgon Cru AOP

Ferraud et Fils: “Domaine Rolland” Brouilly Cru AOP

Ferraud et Fils: “Cuvee Ensorceleuse” St Amour Cru AOP

Ferraud et Fils: ” L’Eolienne” : Moulin a Vent Cru AOP

Date: Monday, November 21st, 2019

Time: 7 pm – 9 pm

Address: 88 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi

Limited seats available. RSVP and reserve your seat(s) by calling: 024 3718 0344 or 094 626 0880

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