It’s starting to feel like Fall again — football is back, there’s a chill in the air, and pumpkins are popping up at the market. Chez nous, the change in seasons means a change in our wine habits — a shift towards bottles that are richer, redder, and more robust. But most importantly, autumn means Beaujolais.
The celebration around the Beaujolais Nouveau (if not the wine itself) may be enjoyable, but it sells the grape and terroir short. Given a few extra bucks, one more year, and a bit of care in the vines and cellar, Gamay can be worlds better than mass-market infantile Nouveau.
For proof, look no further than Jean-Marc Monnet, our source in Juliénas.
Jean-Marc Monnet has no website, no other American importer, and even we still get lost trying to find his house sometimes. We used to think of him as our little secret, but it turns out the Guide Hachette named him a Winemaker of the Year two years ago. His three 2019 cuvées have just arrived, and they’re as good as ever.
Monnet’s Juliénas still embodies the ebullient essence of the Beaujolais — just with a lot more class. The 2019 bursts with juicy, inky fruit — look for cranberry, wild cherry, and plum in the nose. The mouthfeel is intense and smooth with a long, dense finish of graphite and violets. It’s best described in French as gouleyant, a wonderfully onomatopoeic word that means “gulpable.” Try it — “GOO-lay-AWNT” — it’s almost as fun to say as this is to drink.
Monnet Juliénas 2019
bottle price: $18
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