But while praising the nouveau craze, McIntyre dismisses Duboeuf’s wine. “There’s nothing wrong with his wines, despite what the wine geeks say,” he writes, calling them commercial and overly similar to one another “that hints of winemaking indoors rather than in the vineyard. “
We suspect that McIntyre hasn’t tried Duboeuf's better Beaujolais cru – the term for wines made in ten specific areas in the northern half of Beaujolais considered a cut above the two lower rungs on the Beaujolais hierarchy, Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages. Deboeuf produces an ocean of basic Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages, as well as his well-known “flower label” wines from the Beaujolais cru areas, Juliénas, Saint-Amour, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Côte de Brouilly, and Brouilly. But Duboeuf also controls a handful of vineyards within those regions that produce delightful and distinctive wines that are also extremely affordable.
Calvert Woodley has Duboeuf wines on sale from eight of the ten Beaujolais Cru, all of them with solid scores from the critics – including another 90-91 pointer in the 2009 Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Clos des Quatre Vents. (By the way, another reason that we suspect the Post’s McIntyre wasn’t painting these wines with his broad, anti-Duboeuf brush is his crack about them being okay “despite what the wine geeks say.” It suggests that the wine critics find flaws in these wines, but the ones we like earn a thumbs-up consensus from the likes of Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.)
Other good Beaujolais cru widely available around town include many from Henry Fessy – including the 90-point 2009 Henry Fessy Fleurie and 2009 Henry Fessy Moulin-à-Vent – and the wines of Potel-Aviron, on sale at MacArthur Beverages and Pearson’s in Glover Park for $13 to $16 a bottle. See the slideshow for a representative sample of the specific wines available and their prices around town.
Any of these wines would provide a delightful, food-friendly step up from our usual budget wine suggestions. And their approachable style also make them a nice starter red wine for white wine drinkers who would like to dabble with the dark side. Regardless of which you find at a wine shop near you, it will be one more thing to be thankful for this holiday season.
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