As one drives through the noble French vineyards of Burgundy, traveling south of Macon, they will come to the Beaujolais wine region. Though considered a part of Burgundy, Beaujolais is often overshadowed by the noble Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs from these vineyards to its north. Beaujolais is best known for easy drinking red wines from the Gamay grape. These wines are typically made to be consumed young and represent simple wines of value. Though best known for these simple reds they also produce 10 “Cru” red wines that are more complex and structured for age-ability. But still, the best kept secret from Beaujolais comes in the form of a white wine. There are miniscule amounts of White Beaujolais made from Chardonnay or Aligote grapes that can represent wines of exceptional quality and great value in comparison to those expensive bottles from their northern neighbors.
Gerard Gelin is a second generation winemaker and owner of Domaine des Nugues in Beaujolais. The estate produces a full range of Beaujolais including two “Cru” wines and a small release of White Beaujolais from Estate fruit.
The 2015 Domaine Des Nugues Beaujolais-Village Blanc is one of the best examples of white Beaujolais that we have tasted. It has richness and depth that comes from a purity of fruit, unencumbered by oak or excessive manipulation. The grapes are grown in soil comprised of chalk over clay. This chalk imparts a nice minerality to the wine. The wine is allowed to go through malolactic fermentation to round the sharp edges from a naturally bright acidity in the juice. The Malolactic provides richness and a harmonious balance to the finished wine. In the glass Domaine Des Nugues expresses floral notes on the nose with ripe stone fruit characters on the palate. There is a mouth-filling weight to the wine and great length to the finish.
This is a wine that is a white Burgundy lover’s dream. It is of Premier Cru Beaune quality at a price that is less than half what those wines would cost. With only 5500 bottles produced in the 2015 vintage we sadly we only have a handful of cases to share of this wine. Order online, stop by the store or give us a call, but do not miss out on this beautiful representation of Chardonnay from the south side of Burgundy.