2018 Domaine Chignard Fleurie Les Moriers

Forthright ripe red fruit bursts from the glass quickly chased by a toffee warmth, then a crunch of firm acidity. A big bowl of strawberry, plum and a few blueberries. Not surprisingly there’s an overlay of floral smells like violets and roses, Fleurie after all. In between the dense fruit and popping up again to finish is a mineral pull, licking rocks again. Bold, warm and positive but detailed and composed too. Just to prove it’s maker’s place amongst the minimalist interveners, a yeasty edge suggests low sulphur. All the parts came together well over two evenings. Definitely not Beaujolais Nouveau.

13% alcohol. Cork. $42.

93, maybe 94 points.

2017 Château de Pierreux Réserve de Château Brouilly

Not exactly a small producer, hand made Beaujolais. The property is owned by the very big indeed company of Boisset Mommessin and imported by one of Australia’s supermarket duopoly. Economy of scale and some don’t mess it up winemaking perhaps? Some earlier Beaujolais vintages from this maker were flattened by some pretty obvious sulphur additions, meaty and lacking freshness. This vintage though is bright and crunchy fruited with wafts of red cherry, strawberry, a lifted sort of wine gum banana thing and a tasty sappy, floral edge. The acidity is a touch firm, a greenish tug but not sour which maybe shows how quickly things ripened in yet another early warm vintage. The website marketing blurb claims the property has some old goblet trained vines and there is indeed a nice depth of fruit toward the end of a mouthful. It hung on really well for a couple of days, clean and pleasing but probably no threat to rival the detail and depth of a Foillard. There’s room in the world for supermarket and the niche too.

14% alcohol but it don’t show. Screwcap, another good Boisset decision. $19 in a six on member’s special, normally $22. A bargain at both prices.

92 points.

2018 Pierre Marie Chermette Beaujolais Griottes

Gamay is just the ticket to buy for summer. Served cool, the bright splash of vivid berries and cherries – or griottes, of course – closely followed by a crunch of mouth freshening acid without the frown of serious tannin suit a warm evening so well. This one’s an old favourite and its 2018 vintage shows those glossy cherries but perhaps in their ripest form as there’s a dark colour and some prune depth to show for a dry, hot vintage. The acidity felt a touch too firm and maybe greenish to start but by day three it had softened into the generously weighted dark cherries. Despite the suggestion this is the producer’s more simple, get straight into it bottle, three days of improving sipping hint to the fact that a few years wait won’t hurt. It’s been a great season for cherries around here.

13% alcohol. Screwcap. $32.

92 points.

2017 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages

Opened this and the next day learnt of the recent death of the man himself, so cheers to nearly 87 years of a very influential life. So much so that this bottling has often been a welcome last resort when glumly staring at the shelves of an out of town supermarket. Old Georges’ ability to make and sell Beaujolais was such he even reached the drabness of Australian outer suburbia. Clean, reliable, perhaps anodyne but always a delicious, gently tangy drink on a warm evening. Probably a lot more is made of this each year than all the wonderfully alive new wave naturals put together. Sure, this one’s a bit over extracted, a little corporate but the rich bouncy cherry flavour suggests some good honest fruit and the biting crunch of good acidity and skin tannin demands the seasonal goodness of the summer table. Must admit to really enjoying this, think we can forgive the Beaujolais Nouveau which probably helped the growers’ cash flow no end.

13% alcohol. Screwcap, good corporate thinking. $18, bargain.

90 points but for drinking not pointing.

2017 Louis Claude Desvignes Les Impénitents Morgon Côte du Py Javernières

This isn’t sheepish in showing its delicious, mid weight mix of pure, clean and dense fruit equalled by mineral earthiness. Pristine dark cherry and raspberry liqueur chocolate sliced with granitic acidity and ripe rolling tannins. Deep, dense and perhaps true to the reputation of Morgon being the most powerful and lasting of crus? Irresistibly drinkable yet will probably mellow and deepen in years to come. Nothing to be penitent about here apart from how quickly it vanished. Another cracking 2017 Beaujolais.

13% alcohol. Cork. Perfect addition to the pizza, thanks for sharing.

95 points.

2017 Louis Jadot Combe aux Jacques Beaujolais Villages

An appealing deep ruby colour sort of makes this look even more…er…drinkable. Fresh cherry and raspberries with some good crushed stone and wet soil to pleasantly complicate things. Good fresh haul of acid and just enough meshed fine tannin to invite food or another sip. 2017 looks good for ripeness and importantly freshness in Beaujolais. With basic Bourgogne over $50 a bottle now, this is terrific value.

12.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $26.

91 points.

2009 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Cuvée la Chapelle

Little bit of old bottle dust to open but relaxed to be nicely clean and pure as it enjoyed some fresh air. The warm vintage perhaps shows in some quite dark cherry fruit and toasted whole meal bread but there’s still a lovely juiciness and mineral length. The twist of granite pucker carries the plum and cherry flavour beautifully. Still fresh for a Gamay nearing a decade of age, although the parts are amalgamating into self possessed composure. What a consistent producer. The ancient font label belies the craft and technique inside. Long way from industrial nouveau.

13.50% alcohol. Cork. $55 approximately in 2011.

94 points.

2017 Domaine Chignard Fleurie Les Moriers

Deep colour and smells. Alive with dark cherries, squishy ripe strawberries, sweet compost and granite dust. The fruit’s so pure it almost seems simple but there’s an earthy paradoxical intrigue too. The perfectly ripe flavours almost cover a seamless softness of tannin and acid. It’s like biting into perfect summer fruit that’s at its peak. A head full of perfume and sensual pleasure. Hedonistic, cool drinking, warm weather delight. So good not to tax the brain but to sink back and Cheshire Cat smile.

13% alcohol. Cork. $45.

94 points.

2016 Jean-Paul Thévenet Morgon Vieilles Vignes

Vibrant lifted aromas of raspberries, cherries, yeasty bits and Northern Rhone Syrah like rocky granite or something like that. Same in the mouthful with great acid freshness but also a composty sort of earthiness which one of us thought a nice complexity and another couldn’t stand to drink. That’s the fun of wine and the way we all see the world through different lenses, n’est-ce pas? For some an exuberant, delicious example of one of those very much alive, fanatically made natural Beaujolais Crus, for another too far off the edge.

13% alcohol. Cork. About $70.

94 points for one, somewhat less for another!

2017 Henry Fessy Gamay Noir

A Dan Murphy direct import from a business now owned by Louis Latour. For a wine made on an industrial scale this still has some charm. Bright crunchy red fruits and firm but still agreeable acidity. Some of those banana skin whole berry smells and spotlessly clean freshness add up to what’s really a bargain. Much better the second day which shows there’s some genuine fruit quality here. Not exactly Foillard  but a good choice from uncle Dan’s..er..heterogeneous offerings.

13% alcohol. Screwcap. $14.50

90 points