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Flashcards in Beaujolais Deck (25):

What is the climate of Beaujolais?



What is the red grape grown in Beaujolais?


Fun fact: Gamay's full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc.


What is the traditional pruning method in Beaujolais?

Gobelet (aka Bush vine)


In what type of soils are the best red wines in Beaujolais grown?

Granitic soils that are nutrient deficient.


What is carbonic maceration?

Carbonic maceration is a winemaking technique used for red wine production that extracts intense color and fruit flavors but little tannin.

  • Whole clusters of Gamay are put into tanks, carbon dioxide is pumped into the tank and the tank is sealed, creating an anaerobic environment;  
  • Due to the absence of oxygen the berries undergo an intracellular fermentation (without the help of yeasts).  In this anaerobic environment some tannin and lots of color are transferred to the flesh from the skins while the grapes are building up carbon dioxide, which then force them to burst;
  • Once carbonic maceration has completed (7-10 days) the winemaker pumps both the free run and pressed juice from the skins into another vessel to allow yeasts to finish primary fermentation, rendering the wine dry and very fruity.


What are some of the flavors derived from carbonic maceration?

  • Bubble gum
  • Banana
  • Kirsch
  • Cinnamon


Is Beaujolais Nouveau produced via carbonic maceration or traditional methods?

Most Beaujolais Nouveau is produced using carbonic maceration.

Beaujolais Nouveau is intentially made for early drinking.


When can Beauolais Nouveau be released?

Beaujolais Nouveau can be released on the third Thursday of November the same year of harvest.

It cannot be sold after August 31 the year after harvest.


How are the soils different from northern Beaujolais to southern Beaujolais?

Northern Beaujolais has more granite and schist soils, and the northern landscape has more rolling hills than the south.

Southern Beaujolais has more alluvial, sandy soils, and the earth here is flatter than in the north.


Beaujolais overlaps the southern part of which other subregion in Burgundy?

The very northern part of Beaujolais overlaps a bit of the southernmost portion of the Mâconnais.


Will one find more white wine or more red wine from Beaujolais?

Red wine

Gamay is king in Beaujolais but there can be some Chardonnay found on limestone outcroppings; Chardonnay from Beaujolais is sold as Beaujolais Blanc.


What is the hierarchy of quality wines in Beaujolais?

From highest to lowest:

  • Crus of Beaujolais
  • Beaujolais-Villages
  • Beaujolais


What are the ten Crus of Beaujolais from north to south?

From north to south, the 10 are:

  1. Saint-Amour
  2. Juliénas
  3. Chénas
  4. Moulin-à-Vent
  5. Fleurie
  6. Chiroubles
  7. Morgon
  8. Régnié
  9. Côte de Brouilly
  10. Brouilly - Brouilly surrounds Côte de Brouilly


Which Crus of Beaujolais offer wines with the most structure and concentration?

  • Morgon
  • Moulin-à-Vent


Which Crus of Beaujolais offer wines with that are more perfumed and aromatic, and tend to be lighter in style?

  • Saint-Amour
  • Chiroubles


Grapes for Beaujolais Nouveau can only come from where?

Additionally, where are the grapes NOT allowed to come from?

Beaujolais Nouveau wines can only be of Beaujolais or Beaujolais-Villages levels.

The 10 Crus of Beaujolais may NOT be sold as Beaujolais Nouveau.


How is semi-carbonic maceration different from carbonic maceration?

Semi-carbonic maceration does not utilize pumped-in carbon dioxide.  Instead, a winemaker will rely on the carbon dioxide naturally produced by fermentation.  

  • Whole clusters at the bottom of the tank will be crushed from the weight of the grapes above, allowing natural yeasts that were on the grapes to start fermenting the juice released from burst berries;
  • The CO2 produced ignites the intracellular fermentation so even on a semi-carbonic wine there will be the tell-tale flavors of this technique (florals, candied banana, Kirsch, tutti-fruity notes).



How many villages lie within the Beaujoalis-Villages AOP?

39 villages

Most of the wines in Beaujolais-Villages are blended across villages, which is why individual villages are rarely seen on labels. 

None of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais are included in this group of 39.


In the 10 Crus of Beaujolais, the winemaking technique most often used is traditional or carbonic maceration?


Most will receive at least some aging in large, neutral casks.


Who are the winemakers in the "Gang of Four"?

How did they get this moniker?

  • Marcel Lapierre
  • Guy Breton
  • Jean-Paul Thévenet
  • Jean Foillard

These four winemakers were dubbed the "Gang of Four" by their importer, Kermit Lynch, in the 1980s.  All followed a more natural approach to winemaking by using old practices while "technology" was rising around them.  They eschewed chemical fertilizers and pesticides, added minimal sulfur dioxide (or none at all), harvested late, and used only the healthiest grapes by sorting rigorously.


Name some well known Fleurie producers.

  • Clos de la Roilette
  • Jules Desjourneys
  • Domaine de la Grand Cour
  • Christophe Pacalet


What is the most famous vineyard in Morgon (it's also Morgon's highest point of elevation)?

Côte du Py

Known for its black granite and manganese-rich decomposed schist, Côte du Py makes structured, long-lived wines.


Well known Morgon producers include:

  • Marcel Lapierre
  • Jean Foillard
  • Georges Descombes
  • Louis Claude Desvignes
  • Domaine Chamonard


Climate-wise, is Beaujolais closer to Burgundy or Rhône?

Beaujolais is closer to the Rhône as far as climate goes.

The soils in Beaujolais (granite and schist) are also more similar to the Rhône than they are to Burgundy.


Will red wines from Beaujolais display heavy notes of oak?

No, the reds from Beaujolais will rarely, if ever, display oaky notes as the wines are fermented and aged in large, neutral casks.