The ripening conditions were ideal: no weather incidents, plus great sun and heat allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and gradually. Drawing on the water supply stocked up in the soil in the Spring, on the whole, the vines did not suffer from the lack of rainfall. Consequently, the grape crop was in outstanding health. The winemakers, who played it smart – taking their time before beginning to harvest and making the most of the warm, sunny September weather – harvested healthy, nicely concentrated grapes, rich in sugar.
The first wines tasted in the wineries are extremely promising. "They have the advantages of an early-ripening vintage, without having any of its disadvantages," explained Bertrand Chatelet, Director of Sicarex Beaujolais (Vine & Wine Research Institute). "They're velvety. The wines are going to extract their color and structure thanks to long periods of maceration. They are round and silky, but concentrated and rich. The tannins are subtle and elegant."
That point of view is shared by Arnaud Chambost, MOF Sommelier 2000, who gave his impressions after his first winery tastings: "The colors are crimson and dense, with dark purple-fuchsia hues. The wines radiate aromas of fleshy black fruit and flowers (peony, lilac), as well as a few hints of spice and licorice. On the palate, the wine combines depth, complexity, elegance and gourmandise. The tannins also have a nice fullness, resulting in aromas that linger nicely. The wines reflect the terroirs well, not only in terms of soil and sun exposure, but also in terms of the Gamay grape variety, whose personality expresses itself in optimal conditions."
Save the date: November 15th you'll have the chance to taste the year’s Beaujolais nouveau, the first sampling of a vintage described by all as "long-awaited and praised in advance".