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