Sips: Debunking the idea of “the right wines for the right seasons” with some outstanding Beaujolais

As I think about it, this whole notion of winter wines and summer wines is largely a gimmick embraced and promoted by wine writers and marketers. For my part, I am going to enjoy a good Beaujolais or two (as I recently did) whether I’m sweating in the summer heat or trying to stay warm in the frigid late autumn we’ve been having here in New York. All right, maybe I’ll appreciate the depth of a full-bodied California cab a bit more in the fall than I would on a stifling August evening. But the point FLEURIE_SMALL is, I find myself turning to all kinds of wines in every season and enjoying them no less, as I did with a range of new offerings in  recent weeks.

As I tell you about them in coming days, let’s start with a couple of notable Beaujolais. The 2009 cru Beaujolais (from 10 specific villages and areas in the region) have been out for a few months or so, and one worth seeking is Clos de la Roilette’s ‘09 Fleurie, which shows subtle notes of ripe raspberry, red cherry, earth and a nice tannic structure that belies Beaujolais’ reputation among some as simple, unsophisticated wine. This outstanding $20 Fleurie has great fruit and a good deal of complexity and will match well with everything from fish to a simple pan-seared steak, which is how I enjoyed it the other night. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections, New York. And by the way, the ‘09 vintage is considered an outstanding one.

In case you didn’t realize it, there is such a thing as white Beaujolais, made in very limited quantities from chardonnay. And Chateau du Chatelard’s 2008 Beaujolais Blanc is an excellent example. It shows a lot of minerality, some pear and apple notes and the slightest touch of butterscotch. Uncomplicated but delicious, it’s a very good value at about $18. Look for the ‘09 vintage as well. Imported by Wineberry America, Valley Cottage New York. Wines received as press samples.

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