Last night, a warm July evening, an excellent vegetable lasagne to a Bill Sewell recipe called for a light red wine. The vegetables were mostly aubergines and mushrooms and the pasta was fresh. I chose a bottle of Beaujolais Villages, Les Maladrets, 2007 from Majestic (£6.99 if two or more bottles are bought).
It would have been possible to drink a white wine with this, but I would have wanted a chardonnay with a bit of oak and D might very well have jibbed at the oak. It would also have been more expensive to get one good enough. A white Jura would have suited both of us, but been even more expensive.
So Beaujolais was a good choice, but this Beaujolais? Frankly it was a bit too light, not quite light enough to say ‘thin’ but going in that direction. The rather emphatic peardrops on the nose were a warning of acidity. Not bad, but not quite good value. A pity because the Chenas 2008, Louis Chavy that I tried a few days ago, also a Beaujolais at the same price from the same store, seemed substantially better with that much more intensity and a stronger tannic backbone. Only the latter seem to me as good as the Gamay, Vin de Pays des Gaules, 2007 also a Beaujolais but from the Wine Society at just £4.75 a bottle in dozens. It can’t call itself a Beaujolais for reasons that somehow derive from the French wine classification system (it would take a postmodernist philosopher to produce a plausible explanation, but the French do them too). It has the classic Gamay grape characteristics, fresh and fruity, not too alcoholic.