The Château de la Chaize is a great place to start my #wineandmusic tour of the Beaujolais. It is perhaps the largest sized estates producing wine from a single Beaujolais Cru region, in their case Brouilly. The Château de la Chaize Brouilly is their largest volume wine, and they also offer higher end wines culled from specific plots within the château’s estate. Many other Beaujolais producers either own, lease or source grapes from parcels in multiple crus to diversify their offering – the folks here keep the focus on their own back yard.
Many Brouilly wines tend be quite light in taste and short in lifespan, but the Château de la Chaize Brouilly is constructed with cellaring potential and as such has some acid and tannin packed on to chaperone the wine into adolescence.
On the nose, nothing surprising, fruit followed by floral and all quite mild. Into the gulp is when the cellaring potential kicks in and gives you hope that some of those mild scents will accentuate over the next couple of years. Fresh enough, this is a very structured version of a Brouilly and it doesn’t take long before the tannins start tugging at the inside of your mouth. All the while, a caravan of ripe fruit works it’s way from your lips to the wine drain at the back of your mouth. Red fruit like strawberry, cherries are at the front of the parade followed by blueberry and finally some raspberry and some tasty but subtle black pepper. On a scale of 1 to 10 the tannins weigh in around a 3, which is plenty to give this wine some structure, but supple enough maintain the fresh, drinkable spirit of a Beaujolais. By way of comparison, I sampled the Château de la Chaize Brouilly Vielles Vignes 2010 (Vielles Vignes means old vine) although it is a different vintage, the older vines showed tannins that I rated at 5 on 10. Old vine wines typically show considerably more tannic characteristics and (in very general terms) longer cellaring potential. So it might be interesting to see how this wine ages.
Musical Match: George Michael signs Freedom. Alright we all thought he was a bubble gum pop artist in Wham! Then he comes out with songs like Freedom. Still easily accessible, fresh and popular but proving he does has stay power. In wine terms, he is earlier fame suggested he was had no cellaring potential – but Freedom showed us that he did have potential.
By the way, nothing to do with the wine, but the Château de la Chaize is gorgeous… take a look http://www.chateaudelachaize.com/pagesuk/vins_e.htm
Special thanks to Inter Beaujolais for providing all transportation, hotels, meals and access to the wonderful wine and winemakers of the Beaujolais wine region of France during a four day tour. The wine discussed in this blog entry was tasted during that promotional tour.