In my time behind the counter at the wine shop, I can only recall one person asking for Beaujolais by name and he was looking for an offseason bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. While people may not have come looking for that Gamay grape wonder, that doesn’t mean I didn’t try to extoll the virtues of the wine to anyone who would listen. Come on, who wouldn’t enjoy the flavors of raspberry, black cherry, and black currant?
How did I join Marissa Ross as an evangelist for Gamay? Like most people, when I started drinking wine, I really only knew of Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the seasons. However, a few years ago, I heard the advice from the America’s Test Kitchen podcast to look into Beaujolais Village as a tidy, reasonably priced, everyday wine. I picked up a bottle of the ever-present Louis Jadot Village, and I was hooked. Since then, I always have a case on hand and I’ve taken to scouring the liquor stores of the southeast for more labels.
While I’ve had some great success finding Cru Beaujolais in Atlanta, Mississippi has proven to be a bit barren. In fact, besides nouveau and Louis Jadot Beaujolais Village, I found a single different label, Domaine Pral’s Beajolais.
Found squirreled away in the corner of Colony Wine Market in Madison, this Domaine Pral is a Beaujolais AOC, a product of one of the 96 villages in AOC.
And when we popped the cork, we were greeted by…yeast. Yes, there were the usual black cherry and raspberry notes but all were overshadowed by the smell of just proofed yeasted bread dough.
Hoping a little aeration into a decanter would help, I soldiered on and, for me, the wine did improve a bit, but not for Carley, my wife. She gave her glass the old college try but eventually poured the remainder into my glass and went searching for something else.
In a way, that sums up my feelings on this wine. I wanted to find a different Beaujolais label, I did, and I gave it a try, and once was enough. Even though patience and air did let this Beaujolais grow into a decently palatable wine, it wasn’t worth the effort.