My attempts to become a Beaujolais Man...

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I've never been much of a Beaujolais man to be honest. I've always viewed the wine with a good dollop of suspicion but I'm not entirely sure where it's come from. Maybe I had a particularly bad experience with the wine in a previous life? Either way it's never really been on my radar and therefore I've been keen to resolve this blind spot of late. My chance came when I was offered a taste of 4 samples recently.

I waited a few weeks for some sunshine to drink them with (i.e. proper Beaujolais conditions). Sadly none was forthcoming, so I cracked them open anyway.... My musings are set out below:

Manoir du Carra - Beaujolais-Villages 2011 (£9.95 from Caviste.co.uk)

A non filtered effort with a light and playful nose. Red fruit notes are apparent but the wine comes across a little one dimensional. The finish is quite long in fairness but there's nothing particularly ground breaking here. Pleasant enough and a very clean wine. Certainly one for those liking a light and simple red wine.

Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois - Fleurie NV (£12.50 from theVintner.com)

This is a slightly deeper effort than the Manoir du Carra and certainly a more manly wine. This becomes almost a little Pinot like with time in glass. The red fruit characters are backed up with slightly meaty flavours. An interesting wine which I enjoyed and would happily purchase! A ringing endorsement!

Henry Fessy - Moulin-à-Vent 2010 Crus du Beaujolais (N/A in UK but other Henry Fessy wines available via Oddbins.com)

Like the Fleurie this is a more savoury and meaty little number with the red fruit flavours being just one of the elements but not the main one. A thinking man's Beaujolais if you will. If anything I'd perhaps like this to be a little fruitier. It comes across as slightly austere but remains a very drinkable wine.

Louis Claude Desvignes Morgon 2007 (more recent vintages available from Berry Bros & Rudd around £18.50)

I didn't expect to be drinking a wine from 2007 when I was offered a few Beaujolais samples so this has been an unexpected pleasure. Having found the Henry Fessy perhaps not fruity enough I love this wine because of it's more complex savoury notes. It's a good deep wine with various levels to it. Certainly Pinot like but it pulls it off. However, the fact that I found this to be my favourite perhaps proves I'm not a Beaujolais man as this seems, certainly from my previous Beaujolais encounters, to me more austere and weighty than your typical example.

Either way, if you're keen on light summery red wines that offer immediate satisfaction you should really be looking into Beaujolais in a little more detail!