2011 Château Raousset Fleurie “Grille-Midi”

Subtlety. Nuance. Delicate.  All words that resonate with TWH customers and contemporary wine drinkers. It seems many of us have shied away from obvious, in-your-face jammy fruit driven, or international wine styles. I remember several years ago while visiting my (at the time) local pizza joint, I discovered that my go-to wine was sold out. I looked at the list and noticed a popular, highly rated red wine that I had never tried. I ordered a bottle, and when the pie came, I had a sip of this wine and it completely overwhelmed the flavors of the pizza. Since that shocking experience, I try to find wines lower in alcohol with less obvious fruit to pair with my meals. Which leads us to the topic of tonight’s writeup: Cru Beaujolais.

Here at TWH, we all love Cru Beaujolais. We’ve been known to write about it every now and then. And I’m happier and happier as I witness the Beaujolais section of my personal cellar grow, bottle by bottle. Yes, some Cru Beaujolais can develop complexity after a short slumber. A couple of years ago after a tasting trip to Burgundy, David came back with some great news. He found a new Beaujolais producer, Château Raousset. Knowing David’s palate, we all were happy at the news. It was when the wines arrived that we started doing backflips. Full of charm and nuance, the Raousset brand is one that I hope hangs around here for a long, long time. A recent air-freight shipment revealed a six pack of wine samples from a negociant in Burgundy. We tried all six. The overwhelming star of the bunch: 2011 Fleurie Grille-Midi from Château Raousset! It was the first 2011 Cru Beaujolais we have tried, and we hadn’t really heard much about vintage at the time, but its resemblance to its 2009 version was striking indeed. For it was the 2009 Raousset Fleurie that charmed us first. One swirl revealed bright red berries and cherries up front, which gave way to a savory, forest floor complexity with hints of anise and tobacco. One could admire the aromas for minutes on end. On the palate is that unmistakable Gamay Noir brightness and friendliness. No big extract. No mouth drying tannins. Just pure subtlety and charm. Coming in at 13% alcohol, one can imagine a wide array of lunches and dinners that can accompany the 2011 Fleurie Grille-Midi from Château Raousset with style. Things as simple as a spinach salad, chicken wings, or a burger will work well. You can get fancy too. Beef Stroganoff, veal chops, or chicken paillard will all sing the praises of this delectable Fleurie. I sure wish I knew about this wine when I ordered my pizza all those years ago!

We’ve been noticing the days getting longer … there are daffodils growing next to my driveway these days. I have booked my flight to Bordeaux for En Primeurs and I see cherry blossoms all over the place.  Yep, spring is in the air. No doubt. Champions’ League football is back, sadly without the defending champions, but hey, that’s sports for you. Without having a horse in the race, it’s still my favorite competition, and I’ve watched a couple of great matches already. Once spring gets here, windows and doors will open up our homes to the great outdoors once again. Whether you’re out on a picnic, or just enjoying the fresh air coming in through your windows, the Fleurie Grille-Midi from Château Raousset is just the ticket! –Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about 2011 Cru Beaujolais, Subtlety in wine, or Champions’ League Football: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net


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Filed under Fleurie, Gamay, Peter Zavialoff

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