Jean-Paul Brun, Moulin a Vent "Terres Dorées", 2009
On the Wine Rambler's project to look into regional french reds from time to time, Beaujolais is an obvious, but also daring choice. Obvious, because: Who doesn't know Beaujolais? Daring, because: Who doesn't know Beaujolais is mostly thin and second-rate, to say nothing of that awful testimony to the power of marketing over taste, Beaujolais primeur.
But let's give the defendant his fair chance to speak up for himself, shall we?
All sorts of red berries and cherries in this offering from Jean-Paul Brun, faintly stony, and with dry notes of meat broth and herbs in the background. On the palate, it's berries again, with sweet liquorice and a trace of nougat on the finish. Comes very light on tannins, but with wonderful freshness and surprising power.
I liked it, not least for its low alcohol, even if I couldn't make a lot of sense of it: It's not so completely unlike a good Pinot in aromatics, but seems to be constructed differently. Backbone and depth don't come from tannins, but from a mysterious meaty, smoky substance. Is it minerality that's driving this? Certainly, an interesting enough tasting experience to keep on Beaujolais's case.