Posted on Aug, 09. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

I have been on the lookout for a great red wine for this time of the season. The whites we have been tasting lately have been so good that many of the reds just haven’t really seemed appropriate. After all it has been one hot Summer. But we did have a nice cool weekend and I don’t know about the rest of you but I can feel Autumn just beginning to to approach.

Last week I was closing up shop at the Guild on Friday when one of our reps dropped by and ask me to taste just one wine in his bag. It was the first of the 2009 wines I have tasted from France. We all know that 2009 is supposed to be the vintage of a life time in Bordeaux, what is almost more important is the fact that it is one of the greatest vintages in a lifetime over most of France. It will be a good year to buy French wine in.

So why not start with one of the Frenchiest wines of all, Beaujolais? We have put some focus on Cru Beaujolais here at the Guild in a continuing effort to remind folks that this wine can be a fantastic red wine and not just the fruity little nonsense wine we have all come to see it as over the years.

Moulin-à-Vent is considered by many to be the top Cru of the Beaujolais. Others will argue Morgon but they are simply wrong. What makes Moulin-à-Vent the top Cru is its particular no nonsense character. Moulin-à-Vent always strikes me as having a firmer tannic structure and tighter more elegant fruit profile. Most producers recognize the potential of quality from this area and create an ageable Beaujolais here. It is a serious wine, a true wine and one worthy to hold court with the great wines in your cellar.

The wine I tasted last week is from the renowned Durdilly family. This bottling is a new project they are doing under the name Domaine le Gryphees. The importer tells us this:

The Durdilly family has recently split their vineyard holdings; Pierre (the younger brother of Paul, of “La Chassagne”) has staked his claim with his son Guillaume, 23, on a piece of extraordinary land in Moulin-à-Vent. Here ‘gryphees,’ or seashell fossils, dominate the soils—the mineral content and character of these remarkable soils are what gives this cuvee its structure and endless freshness. While many Moulin à Vent cuvees are often muscular, this gem from 2009 straddles the delicious line between dense, deep fruit and dazzling freshness—it’s a much more fruit-forward Moulin, with a little something for everyone.

What Pierre has accomplished in this wine is to take the nobility of this terroir that typically requires some age time to soften its elements together and produced it so that the wine is accessible now showing full, lush fruit and yet loosing nothing of the structure that brings complexity to the entire package. Tasting much like a firmly built Beaujolais upon opening the bottle the wine develops and harmonizes within an hour of being open to resemble something much more like Burgundy. Complex, full, fleshy and delicious (I was able to purchase a bottle to review over the weekend, I will probably review it several more times here soon).

There is really little more to say, I loved this wine, it really gives one the idea of what a strong winemaker can do with a perfect vintage. I strongly recommend that everyone try some of this, it is truly for every palate and a nice opportunity to put a little something different in your glass.

2009 Domaine Les Gryphees, Moulin A Vent
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $13.20 • Premier Cru: $13.80 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $19.99
Buy Now!

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