2009 Beaujolais: Chateau de Raousset

The last couple of emails from Pete have highlighted some stunning discoveries made by David on his scouting trip to France earlier in the year. Burgundy was not the only place David struck gold. The Wine House has now added a magnificent producer of Cru Beaujolais: Chateau de Raousset. And as luck would have it, we were able to secure all three reds Raousset makes from the highly lauded 2009 vintage. I been hearing and reading a lot of praise for ’09 Beaujolais. Many vintners have described it as a near perfect vintage. I couldn’t wait for the Raousset wines to finally land. Wasting no time to taste them, after the container was unloaded, we cut through the shrink wrapped pallets and ripped open a box. I had the honor of popping the corks for the staff tasting. Upon first whiff, it was clear that we were in for something very special. Upon first sip, I was doing my best impression of the cartoon dog that oohs and ahhs then faints in ecstasy. A little carried away, sure, but when wine is this delicious, I can’t help myself.
Chateau de Raousset dates back to 1761 and what stands today was built in 1850. There are three reds: a Chiroubles, where the estate is located, a Fleurie and a Morgon. Each wine is distinct and representative of its Cru, or village, of which there are nine named in Beaujolais. It is easy to fall into wine writing cliché most of the time, but almost impossible to avoid when writing about Beaujolais. For instance, how else to explain the charm and seriousness of Cru Beaujolais but by making sure to point out that they are NOT Nouveau. If your experience with Beaujolais has indeed been only with Nouveau, understand that Cru Beaujolais is a whole other animal. In exceptional vintages such as 2009, Beaujolais will age gracefully, especially wines from Morgon. Another cliché which can’t be avoided is to mention how versatile and food-friendly Beaujolais can be. The soft tannins and cheerful fruit help to make Cru Beaujolais a star at the table; a major reason why most Saturdays, when contemplating Sunday dinner, if in doubt, I go home with one of Raousset’s Beaujolais. You can’t go wrong.
As already mentioned, Raousset makes three reds. The 2009 Chiroubles has a deep raspberry color with explosive aromas of berry and spice. It is super juicy and has slurpability. The 2009 Fleurie comes from a vineyard named “Grille Midi”. Just like with the Chiroubles, there is plenty of fruit along with notes of forest floor, crushed minerals, and perfumed aromas. The Fleurie is just so pretty and elegant; it’s the complete package. The 2009 Morgon from the vineyard “Douby” is, as expected, bigger-scaled than the other two and has a firmer grip. It has big blueberry/grapey flavors and its own aromatic profile. I hope to revisit this one in a few years. That said, the fruit component on all three wines is so juicy and expressive and the tannins so fine, you can enjoy drinking them right away. The fog has crept back in, Autumn is officially here and the air just smells crispy-er. With a bottle of Raousset in tow, I’m thinking a simple roast Chickie should suffice this weekend – its been a rough week and I’m craving comfort.- Anya Balistreri

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Beaujolais, French Wine

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