Boulon Brouilly 19
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One of my favorite things about winter in Western North Carolina is how it transforms our cooking habits. Cold days and nights open the door to oven-braised meats, roasted birds, and all the other delicious dishes we avoided during the warmer months. On the contrary, the occasional balmy January or February day can motivate us to fire up the grill or inspire a move towards lighter cuisine. A good Beaujolais is the perfect go-to for many cool weather pairings when you want a red with a little more lift and brightness.
Beaujolais is indeed a wine for all seasons; however, for Hammond and me, the real joy is cracking a bottle in the cooler months to pair with roasted chicken. Trust me; if you haven’t explored this pairing, you’re missing one of the classics — it’s no accident that every French bistro has this pairing on their menu!
I’ve always been particularly fond of Gamay, especially Gamay from the Beaujolais region. Gamay grown here produces wonderfully fresh wines, beautifully lifted, and redolent of bright, vibrant red fruits. Sadly, when I recommend Beaujolais, more often than not, the response I get is “no thanks, I don’t like Beaujolais.” That response is undoubtedly driven by a previous experience with “Beaujolais Nouveau,” the simple, fruity, “new wine” that arrives every third Thursday in November.
The real wines from the region are known as Cru Beaujolais, and if you haven’t tried them, you’re in for a splendid treat. Beaujolais is more about lifted bright red fruit notes and less about density and tannin, making it one of the most enjoyable reds all through the year.
Already a Gamay aficionado? You’ll love this one — especially the price! Ever since Beaujolais was “discovered” by the soms and wine critics, the price has been steadily rising. On my last buying trip to Europe, I was determined to source reasonably priced Beaujolais. I was thrilled to find Domaine Boulon!
Driving south from Burgundy, as you enter Beaujolais, you’ll notice the landscape gradually shifts to more verdant, gently rolling hills. The red grape of choice also changes — from Pinot Noir in Burgundy to Gamay in Beaujolais.
The village of Corcelles-en-Beaujolais is a 30-minute drive south of the Mâcon and has been the Boulon family’s home since the 1850s. Hugo and Ludvine Boulon are the seventh generation of the family to run the estate’s holdings in the Beaujolais Cru villages of Morgon, Brouilly and Moulin à Vent.
The Boulon Beaujolais Morgon is selected from vineyard plots throughout the family’s old-vine holdings from vines with an average age of 85 years. It’s aged entirely in glass-lined concrete vats, preserving the freshness and nuance of the old-vine fruit.
In the glass, aromas of tart cherry, plum, and spice lead into an earth-driven palate that’s beautifully balanced by the vibrant, laser-etched fruit. The fruit lingers into the finish, ending on a spicy note of black pepper and roasted herbs.
This is a serious Beaujolais, perfect for that roasted chicken; however, its ample structure allows for enjoyment with braises, grilled white meats, and even burgers!