Jean-Marc Despres Domaine de la Madone Fleurie Tradition 2011, Beaujolais, France

It seems like every wine maker in the Beaujolais is a little bit apologetic for the way all the other wine-makers of the area got off track in terms of releasing substandard quality wines a few years back. A number of those producers will tell you how much their wine has in common with Pinot Noir to qualify themselves as being better than the others. Jean-Marc and Maryse Despres from the Domaine de la Madone in Fleurie make three wines that do not need to pretend to be any but what they are, good Gamay Noir. The Domaine de la Madone signature seems to include bright fruit plus soft but substantial tannins across the trilogy of Fleurie range.


The best priced/largest volume wine they release is the Domaine de la Madone Fleurie Tradition, and the 2011 has toast and jam nose. Ripe blueberry and strawberry/raspberry piled on a very lightly toasted slice of bread jump out at you. Into the gulp some very catchy fruit and flower sing in a forté voice. The well managed and restrained tannins made for a nice finish. Not that it is inelegant, but this wine is an uncomplicated fruity pleaser.


Musical Match: Sometimes folks call wines like this funky, but this wine is way to straightforward for funk – the 2011 Domaine de la Madone Fleurie Tradition is all groovy. My #wineandmusic match is Eugene Blacknell’s We Know We Have To Live Together. This may be an obscure tune, but it’s style is groovy, fruity and flowery with a bit of an edge. Most of all it is genuine and honest, it represents a style and philosophy. It was released in the time when Black Americans were finding pride in being themselves after a period of tumult. I think Jean-Marc and Maryse Despres are finding pride in being themselves after Beaujolais’ period of tumult. Good Stuff.


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