SDMB Wine Club: Holy Cow Week 10 Already

Bienvenue, wine lovers! Or should I say “Bienvino”?

Last week’s thread is aqui. Usual disclaimers and welcomes apply.

This week’s sommelier is . . . shoot, it’s me! (I swear I did not remember that until just this second.) Let’s see. Wine wine wine wine wine.
Okay, I’m completely unprepared. I’m going to go ahead and post this thread so you know I haven’t forgotten, and I’ll plan on going to the wine shop for recommendations tomorrow. Sorry for the delay!

Oh, my goodness! Finally! I’ve been waiting and waiting…(am I too new here to be this impatient?)

Good luck with your selection. Can’t wait to hear what it is. I’l be visiting the wine shop tomorrow so I’m hopeful that I can find whatever you select.

Wooohooo! It’s time for wine!

you can put me & VJ in the same boat. Even though I love my tried and true, I can hardly wait till the new choice is made so I can try something new. Like a kid in a candy store…

Hokay! The weather is beautiful here this afternoon so I used this thread as an excuse to play hooky and make a trip to the wine shop. :slight_smile:

I told the wine guy (Kevin) about our rather unique situation: Internet wine club, people all over the continent, wine must be accessible but not boring, hopefully will help us expand our wine horizons, must be under or around 20 clams. He was quite intrigued.

At his suggestion, I have chosen a French Beaujolais, because I don’t think we’ve done a French wine and I know we haven’t done a true Beaujolais.

Specifically, the wine is the Domaine des Nazins Brouilly Beaujolais(2005). It cost me $13.99 in Chapel Hill, NC. Wine Spectator gives it a 90 or 91 (I forget which), so it’s a good value.

This is a wine I have NOT tasted before, so feel free to be perfectly frank in your reactions, 'cause you won’t hurt my feelings. Seeing as I know little (for which read “nothing”) about this wine, the following is all from Kevin the Wine Guy. If this is too simplistic for our more knowledgeable members, please forgive me; I’m writing for someone as ignorant as me:

  • The wine should be served chilled. (A red! This surprised me.) But “chilled” doesn’t mean cold, straight from the refrigerator. Refrigerate it and then take it out and uncork it about 1/2 hour before serving/drinking.

  • You’re unlikely to find it in a grocery; go to a wine shop if you can. Then if they don’t have it they can recommend a reasonably close facsimile.

  • For this wine: Beaujolais is the wine (duh); “Brouilly” is the “appellation” – the region or town it comes from; and “Domain des Nazins” is the vintner. Kevin says because French wines put so much emphasis on “terroir” (roughly, where the wine is from) if you can’t find this particular vintage of Brouilly, get a Brouilly from a different vintner, as opposed to a different Beaujolais from the same vintner. So what you’re looking for is a Beaujolais from Brouilly. Vintner/bottler is less important. Year is less important.

  • If you get a Brouilly from a different vintner, be sure to tell us who it was, and year. Kevin thinks it would be fun to compare how the different vintners handle the allegedly “same” wine. I’m actually thinking about going back the wine store for a different Brouilly to compare or contrast, but this is probably only recent-wine-shop-trip enthusiasm, which may wear off.

Anyone more knowledgeable about this particular wine, or Beaujolais, or terroir, please feel free to post and education us (me). I think this is the first wine we’ve had where terroir is (allegedly) an important factor, so I’d be intereted to hear people’s opinion on whether it is truly important, and what, exactly it means.

Here is a link on “terroir,” and here is a link on the Bruilly Beaujolais.

Happy drinking! :slight_smile:

I’ll go to the special vintage shop for this one. I couldn’t find the last one anywhere.

My local shop didn’t have an exact match but I brought home a bottle of the following:

Domaine de Combillaty

This will most definitely be sampled over the weekend :cool:

BTW - a thank you is already in order. Due to your most excellent information above I was able to read the labels in the French Wine section in a whole new light. Still much to learn but the SDMB has already dealt ignorance another blow :wink:

Off to Bevmo this morning. If not there, then World Market. The wife is really looking forward to trying this style.

The proprietor of a local wine shop told me that the Domaine des Nazins is not available locally. I was able to purchase a Chateau de Lachaize 2003 Beaujolais from the Brouilly region. He recommended chilling it for about 20 minutes before drinking to bring out the fruit.

I have a glass of it on the desk as I type. It is delicious! Very smooth bodied and easy to enjoy. The ladies also enjoyed it. I plan to stop back and pick up a few bottles tomorrow.
Great choice!

We’re in the group with no exact match – **Dangerosa **visited three wine shops before giving in and picking up a Brouilly beaujolais – it’s a 2005 Georges Deboeuf Pisse Veille Brouilly Beaujolais.

I’m happy to report that it’s not pissy at all. :smiley: We had it with dinner – NY strip steaks and sweet potatoes on the grill, along with a bit of salad. It’s smooth and very drinkable - definite black cherry and hints of that leather/tobacco quality that’s enjoyable in small quantities. It paired well with the steak.

No joy at either of the places I shopped today. I’ll try Von’s and TJ’s tomorrow.

Had our Domaine de Combillaty with dinner tonight (smoked brisket). Happy to report that it was a worthy selection and both of us liked it very much.

I will go back and search for additional selections from the Brouilly region.

Jodi, nicely done!

This is buried pretty deep, thought I would give it some CPR to see if anyone else has had a chance to sample this selection yet.

Just got back from a long and relaxing weekend in Yosemite. I’ll look around for this or something similar tonight after work. If I fail, I know I have at least 2 Beaujolais at home that will do in a pinch.

Also, I thought I’d try to make Jodi’s description of the naming convention of the wine a little more clear.

Beaujolais is a region in Burgundy, France. Gamay is the grape used to make red wine in the Beaujolais AOC.

Brouilly is a sub-region in Beaujolais and is considered one of the best; it is one of ten ‘Cru Beaujolais.’ Domaine des Nazins is a vineyard in Brouilly.
In Burgundy the vineyards (Domaine) or Villages are used to identify/classify/etc. a wine, while in Bordeaux the winery itself, (Chateau) is used.

Considering the area, the vintner or producer most available should be Georges Duboeuf, as his family reigns in Beaujolais.
I’m sure I’ll like this one as I’ve liked just about every Beaujolais I’ve tried. It’s an easy wine to like. Looking forward to it.

Thanks for the additional info psycat! Now tell us about terroir, please, if you have a mo’. :slight_smile: What is it, according to the Frenchies, and how much credence do Americans, especially the Californians, give to it?

I’m going to pop mine open tonight. I was waiting until a week after the pick because so that the thread didn’t get completely lost.

Well, I don’t think I could explain terroir any better than the Wiki article you linked to.

Simply put it’s the idea that the soil, sun and water aspects along with the topography (altitude, slope, etc.) of specific areas are responsible for how a wine tastes.

Macroclimate, mesoclimate, and ultimately the microclimate (the area immediately around a vine) are all considered. In Burgundy, vineyards are tightly planted, and tiny portions are sometimes owned by several people (I believe there is one vineyard, 50 hectares in size, with over 80 owners), which I personally think gives them a ‘marketing’ reason to sing the praises of terroir.

That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in it. I do. And I think most vineyard and winery owners do.
For a quality wine, where and how the grapes are grown is vital to the final product. As important if not more so than the winemaking processes that follow. There is a saying I hear often “You can make bad wine with good fruit, but you can’t make good wine with bad fruit.” I definitely believe in this.

California is growing into its own terroir. Actually, most of America is, as well as several other New World growing regions. Russian River Pinot Noir, Napa Valley Cab Sauv, New Zealand Sauv Blanc, Argentinian Malbec - these are all examples of terroir to me, the right grape varietals growing in the right areas/conditions, each one giving the wine a certain trait, a certain ‘something’ that lets you know “This is a New Zealand Sauv Blanc.”

Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, I was also unable to find the Domaine des Nazins, but I did find the same Brouilly flickster did, the 2004 vintage though, of the Chateau de La Chaize by Marquis de Roussy de Sales. I will open it up tonight. I do have a couple of other Cru Beaujolais on the rack, a Moulin-a-Vent, and a Fleurie, I might open them up sometime this weekend for comparison.

Thank you psycat. I always feel I learn a lot when you post. :slight_smile:

I have to say I really enjoyed this wine. I raise my glass to Kevin the Wine Guy.

I liked that it’s bright, fruity without being sweet, and tart. It’s not a really heavy “full bodied” tannic red – the sort of wine I feel like I’m just “sneaking up on” in terms of learning to appreciate. This one I liked right away and definitely would buy again. I thought I could taste an undertone of earthiness, but then I thought maybe I was just obsessing about terroir too much, so I wonder if anyone else noticed that? But especially for the price, I thought it was a very good wine. I’ll be drinking more Beaujolais from now on.

Does anyone have a domestic red they would recommend as very similar? Are there good California Gamay wines?

OK, tasted my wine, took my notes.

Again, I found the 2004 Chateau de La Chaize Brouilly. I paid $16 for it at one of the local wine shops.

I admired the color immediately - a pretty cherry red.

On first whiff I thought I noticed an off aroma - VA, nail polish, acetone-like, but it mostly vanished. On the nose I picked up dark cherries and plums, with some tobacco and cedar, and a smidge of black pepper.

I got flavors of tart cherry, blueberry, violet chewing gum, tea or wet leaves, and a little spice or clove. It’s very light bodied and simple in texture. Very easy going.

Nice long finish with a damp earth quality lingering at the end.

Very good wine, I enjoyed it a lot. I just offered my husband a taste and he enjoyed it as well.
As far as something comparable, my own recommendation would be a light-bodied Pinot Noir or Charles Shaw (Yes, Two Buck Chuck) Gamay Beaujolais (might be labeled Valdigue now, as TTB will not allow Gamay Beaujolais to be used on labels anymore) if you can find it. Whenever I see it at our local TJ’s I pick up a couple of cases.

You won’t find much Gamay outside of France, or Beaujolais for that matter. Interestingly enough, before he sold his name to Bronco, Charles Shaw was one of the few vintners outside of France to grow what he thought was Gamay. It was discovered later to be another vine however, hence the TTB ruling.

I really enjoyed this. It reminds me of a lot of the table wines I had in Paris last year. This is, I think, the only wine we’ve had so far that I would consider buying a case of. I have been looking for a lighter, non-fuit-bomb red that I could sit and drink during the summer, and I think I’ve found it. I prefer wines in the French style (lighter, a bit more astringent) not so dense and concentrated as California or “Parkerized” wines.

Like psycat90, I had the 2004 Chateau de La Chaize.

While I’ve been able to find Georges DeBoeuf Beaujolais I’ve not been able to find one that’s from the Brouilly region. We may make a trip to the wine shop this weekend so we’ll see.