Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

A BV with pretensions

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This is a Beaujolais-Villages but one in which the actual village name, in this case Leynes (northernmost Beaujolais, southernmost Burgundy and also the operations base of Jean Rijckaert), replaces the “Villages” (along the same lines as what’s allowed for certain Côtes-du-Rhône villages like Cairanne and Séguret). The Bien-Venu is a vestige of the first vintages, the producer’s way of getting around the AOC authorities who declassified the wine and forced it to be labeled as a vin de table, not a Beaujolais.

Beaujolais-Leynes 2011, Bien-Venu In X-Tremis, La Soufrandière / Bret Bros. ($29.75,  11904611)
100% organically farmed Gamay from 65-year-old vines. Manually harvested. The whole, uncrushed clusters are macerated two to three weeks, with light pump-overs and occasional punch-downs. Matured 18 months in Burgundy barrels. 12.5% ABV.
The staff at my neighbourhood SAQ store opened a bottle of this when it arrived back in February and found it off-puttingly bad, so bad that they decided to give it a second chance after the shipment had had a couple of months to recover from suspected travel shock. A good call, as it’s now a textbook Bojo, albeit one in a rich style. The texture is dense enough to have you thinking velour instead of silk. There’s lots of red fruit, some vine sap and minerals and an unsweet floral note (iris?). The acidity is cranberry juice bright, the tannins are light and the fruit lasts right through the finish. While cru-like in terms of body, it falls short of that level in the depth department. In fact, it seems kind of one-note, unexciting and, above all, poor value when set aside true crus like Lapierre’s Morgon ($28 though NLA) or Brun’s Moulin-à-Vent ($24) let alone some of the private import Bojos. Maybe it needs more time, but I wouldn’t bet on it. (Buy again? Unlikely.)

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Written by carswell

May 14, 2013 at 10:43

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