The Beaujolais enjoyed a trilogy of consecutive vintages from 2009 through 2011. The 2009s were all about ripe fruit, and the latter two harvests were more towards the developed accents. From the Domaine de la Bonne Tonne in Morgon I have a two bottles of their Les Charmes to present as a character sketch of these two memorable vintages.
From the same producer and vineyards, these two editions of Les Charmes from Domaine de la Bonne Tonne present two very different profiles. In all objectivity the 2011 was tasted only 12 months after harvest so it may yet find the same direction as the 2010, but side by side these are compelling cases to represent their respective vintages.
The 2011 Domaine de la Bonne Tonne Morgon Les Charmes looks like it has some athletic abilities. Strong nose of red and blueberries with an earthy nutmeg seasoning. Into the gulp: wide open ripe blueberries carry the day with crisp and controlled tannins. This might be a great wine to put in your cellar for a few years. Musical match: American rock duo make wide-open sounding textured music with very simple instrumentation: one guitar and one drum kit. The Bonne-Tonne Morgon makes a nicely textured, wide-open wine without getting things to complicated – listen to I’ll Be Your Man. The controlled, crisp tannins grab the deeper, stiff blues rock sound. Good Stuff.
The 2010 Domaine de la Bonne Tonne Morgon Les Charmes has some altogether different qualities. On the nose some berry and floral, but stone fruit showed with some vanilla. I was a little surprised to see such a delta from the 2011. The gulp was surprisingly light off the top; with blueberry, pepper and raspberry being meticulously placed as if you are setting the table for the Queen. Precise and elegant. Musical Match: taking the simple sounds making a sound wider than the sum of its parts, listen to Gordon Lightfoot perform a song aptly titled, Beautiful.
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.