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Ep 377: The Wines of Beaujolais and its Ten Divine Cru

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 06/01/2021

Ep 392: The Greats -- Chablis show art Ep 392: The Greats -- Chablis

Wine for Normal People

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Ep 391: Édouard Miailhe - Dynamic leader of the Margaux AOC & 5th Generation Owner of Château Siran show art Ep 391: Édouard Miailhe - Dynamic leader of the Margaux AOC & 5th Generation Owner of Château Siran

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Château Siran is an historic and innovative estate in the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, in the commune of Margaux. In the mid-1800s Siran was purchased by ancestor of Édouard Miailhe’s family and today he is the 6th generation to run Siran.

Ep 390: The Grape Miniseries -- Petit Verdot show art Ep 390: The Grape Miniseries -- Petit Verdot

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Ep 389: Chateau Doyac and the Diversity of Terroir in the Haut-Medoc of Bordeaux show art Ep 389: Chateau Doyac and the Diversity of Terroir in the Haut-Medoc of Bordeaux

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In our continued exploration of the Médoc of Bordeaux, Astrid de Pourtalès of Château Doyac joins. Doyac is a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur located in the northernmost part of the Haut-Médoc appellation. This show presents a high level overview of a family-owned château in a very different part of the Médoc that isn't often discussed - one that's far north and based on limestone clay soils, something you'd see in Burgundy rather than farther south in Bordeaux.

Ep 388: The Greats - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano show art Ep 388: The Greats - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

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The Nobile Wine of Montepulciano is a wine based on a clone of Sangiovese and from a small hillside town in Tuscany called Montepulciano. It is, indeed, one of the great wines of the world.

Ep 387: Veramonte's Sofia Araya -- Organic, terroir-driven wine in Chile show art Ep 387: Veramonte's Sofia Araya -- Organic, terroir-driven wine in Chile

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Ep 386: Natalie MacLean -- Author, Wine Reviewer & Podcaster show art Ep 386: Natalie MacLean -- Author, Wine Reviewer & Podcaster

Wine for Normal People

Natalie MacLean is an accredited sommelier who operates one of the largest wine sites on the web. In this fun show, we talk about Natalie's life in wine, her professional triumphs and trials that made her what she is today, and then we talk wine trends. We analyze everything from blue wine to raw wine to celebrity wine and White Claw! A very fun, yet very real conversation that covers the issues with wine (her description of what happened in 2012 is harrowing), with the best of it as well.

Ep 385:  Anne Le Naour of Chateau Meyney - Redefining Saint-Estèphe of Bordeaux show art Ep 385: Anne Le Naour of Chateau Meyney - Redefining Saint-Estèphe of Bordeaux

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Anne Le Naour  is the technical and managing director for Château Meyney of St-Estèphe in the Médoc of Bordeaux. Since she began at Château Meyney in 2016, she has transformed it, improving viticulture, moving towards organics, and introducing better winemaking. Her deep knowledge of wine plus her unwavering dedication to quality has meant that the wines of Meyney are better than ever. She joins to discuss Meyney and the beautiful wines of St Estèphe.

Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country show art Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country

Wine for Normal People

The Basque Country in northeastern Spain lies on the Bay of Biscay and abuts the Pyrenees Mountains, a mere 18 mi/30 km from the French border. Until about a decade ago, this area was relatively unknown as a wine region. But with the rise of Basque cuisine, an increased interest from wine buyers in native varietals, and a thirst for lighter wines, Txakolina (chock-o-LEEN-ah), a white, high acid, spritz wine started to gain ground. In this show, we discuss this historic region and its wine traditions.

Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW show art Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW

Wine for Normal People

Roman Horvath, a Master of Wine, is the Winery Director of Domaine Wachau, a leading Austrian wine producer. The Domaine is actually a cooperative, meaning it is run by & owned by individual growers. But whereas most co-ops in Europe produce seas of mediocre wines, Domaine Wachau is known for its wines of origin & pure flavor. Roman tells us about the Domaine's range of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling that reflect terroir & show that under the right management, the co-op system can make unbelievable wines!

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Beaujolais is a unique, standalone wine region in central eastern France. Sandwiched between southern Burgundy (the Mâconnais) and Lyon (where it is their preferred wine), these wines and this terroir is like no other on earth. With high elevation from the western Massif Central, east and south-facing slopes, these wines get ripe over a long growing season with good diurnals. The unique pink granite and weathered granite sand, along with mineral rich soils of the northern section of Beaujolais, aren’t something you’ll easily find elsewhere in the wine world. In addition, nowhere else in the world specializes in the Gamay grape.

Source: www.beaujolais.com

This grape’s expression in the 10 Crus of Beaujolais – whether it be like iris and violets, tart cherry, blackberry, mineral or intense spice – is always surprising and refreshing due to the high acidity of the wines. The quality for price can’t be beat and as producers embrace traditional vinification rather than carbonic maceration (used in Beaujolais nouveau, which is declining) the wines continue to improve and show what Gamay and the Beaujolais region are capable of. We give you all the details you need to seek out these splendid, undervalued gems.


There are 12 Appellations in Beaujolais: 10 Cru and 2 regional appellations


Beaujolais/Beaujolais Superiéur are regional appellations. These wines are mainly (99%) red of Gamay. They are required to have a minimum of 10% alcohol (not very ripe!) and are generally made via semi-carbonic maceration. These wines can be red or rosé. The reds taste like red grapes, cranberry, cherry, banana, candied pear, and are light in color, light in tannin and high in acidity. 1% of Beaujolais AOC wines are simple whites of Chardonnay.

Added designations:

  • Superiéur: The wines have lower yields, and 0.5% more alcohol. You can only use this designation for reds.
  • 30 specific village names can be added to the Beaujolais AOC or Beaujolais Superieur
  • Nouveau/Primeur: released the third Thursday of November, made through carbonic maceration, these wines represent 2/3 of the Beaujolais AOC. All are hand harvested to keep the whole grapes for carbonic maceration


Beaujolais Villages are from 38 specific villages that are deemed
extremely high quality and can also be red or rosé although they are mainly red.  These reds are darker in color and less grapey than basic Beaujolais. They have red and black berry, mineral, and spice notes, with more tannin and strong acidity.  Some of these wines are made without carbonic maceration and are more serious wines with complexity, although Villages can be sold as Nouveau as well. 


Beaujolais Villages Blanc are 100% Chardonnay and are concentrated in flavor, similar to the wines of Mâconnais. 


Crus: The 10 best of Beaujolais

All wine is 100% Gamay. The pruning methods, vine density and yields are specified by commune. All grapes for the Crus are hand-harvested, most of it is hand-sorted. The best of these wines are transitioning from carbonic maceration to traditional red wine fermentation. The minimum required minimum alcohol is 10%. Although “Cru de Beaujolais” must be somewhere on the label, it is generally in very small print, so you need to know the names of the Crus to find them!


The Crus also have special vineyard sites, or climats, which you will see on the bottle and should seek out. Because so few people are familiar with these wines, they are incredibly affordable, with great examples costing less than US$30!


From north to south, as we discuss in the show, the Crus are: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-á-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régníe, Côte de Brouilly, Brouilly

Source: www.discoverbeaujolais.com

In groups by style, here are the descriptions of each…

Light -Medium Bodied: Chiroubles

These wines are floral, with iris, violet, and peony notes. They also have red berry and baking spice aromas and flavors with a light body and the famed “Glisser en bouche” – glides down the throat – quality. These wines ages 2 to 5 years.



Saint -Amour is made in two styles.

  • Style 1: Light, fruity, grapey, peachy, and like violets/flowers. Acidic and should be consumed within a year or two of vintage.
  • Style 2: Medium-bodied, slightly tannic, with sour cherry, ginger, baking spice and a savory, earthy quality that is like Pinot Noir with age. The best can age 10 years.


Fleurie is elegant and silky with iris, violet, rose, red fruit, and peach aromas and flavors. Fleurie wines can be soft or more substantial with dark fruit notes. They can age up to 5 years

Source: www.beaujolais.com

Brouilly is fruit-driven with plum, red berry, cherry notes and sometimes mineral notes. They are have softer tannins and can age 3 to 5 years.



Medium- to full-bodied:

Cote de Brouilly is sourced from the high-altitude areas within Brouilly. The wines are more robust in body with blackberry, plum, fresh grape, iris flower, and black pepper notes. They have strong acidity and mild tannin. They taste better after 4 to 6 years.


Juliénas is highly aromatic with sweet and tart red berry, violet/dark flower, cinnamon, peach notes, and a mineral earthiness. They have great acidity and can age 6 to 10 years.



Chenás is floral with peony and rose aromas. It has a special spicy, woodsy quality, regardless of whether it has been in a barrel. Chénas has some tannin and is ageworthy – it can age 8 to 10 years.


Moulin-a-Vent is the King of Beaujolais; the pinnacle of the region. When it’s young, it’s like violets, cherries, and plums with a mineral, earth note. With age (the wines improve over 10 or more years), these wines become more like Pinot Noir - Indian spice, sandalwood, and earth.  They are balanced with good tannin and acidity.

Source: www.beaujolais.com


Morgon is the longest lived of the Cru, with aging potential of 5 to 20 years. These wines are full-bodied and powerful with black cherry, peach, plum, and violet. Their tannin, flavor, and acidity allow them to evolve and with time, get earthier (like truffles) and spicy (like licorice or mellow spice), and the texture is velvety. “Morgonner”, or to “Morgon” is a local word that describes how these wines evolve.


Régníe is full-bodied but not as ageworthy as the others in this category. The wines taste like tart cherry, raspberry, red currant, plum, blackcurrant, blackberry aromas. Acidic, mineral, spice, some tannin


Food for heavier styles:  Steak, mushroom-based dishes, eggplant-based dishes with herbs and pepper, strong cheeses, pizza with meat toppings, tuna, salmon, lentils, black bean burgers, and anything with garlic.


Food for medium to light styles:  Brie, anything with garlic, salmon, cod with garlic based sauces, turkey burgers with savory notes, dishes with scallion/onion as a main flavor, Thanksgiving fare, bacon dishes, pork with fruit glazes (fruitier wines).


If you have not tried these splendid Cru, go out and get the one that sounds the best to you immediately. These are wines to discover. Once you do, you’ll drink them forever!



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