Louis Jadot Beaujolais 2007
Varietal: Gamay noir, the Beaujolais grape
Alcohol by volume: 12.5%
Residual Sugar: Dry
Price point: $10
Looks: nice cranberry-sauce color (I mean the purple stuff in the can)
Nose: cherry* on the nose and the slightest hint of vanilla, not altogether complex.
Palate: nice acidity, it’s definitely the first thing I notice. Astringency is not so much puckering as slightly numbing, Laffy Taffy banana* on the pleasantly long finish. Again, not terribly complex, but quite light, and I would say food-friendly with a light appetizer or cheese.
Rating: 3 corks
Louis Jadot is a big producer in Burgundy, and the wines are pretty ubiquitous around here. One way to easily recognize a Louis Jadot wine is the creepy angel head on the label, which is apparently supposed to be Bacchus. Looks like a chubby cherubim to me. Anyway, Louis Jadot makes wines that sell from about $5-10 to around $450 and up per bottle. I have heard that if a producer makes a very expensive wine that is good, then their lower labels will also be good. (I think it was Oz Clarke on Oz and James’ Big Wine Adventure, of which I am rather a fan and some episodes of which you can watch on YouTube). This seems to be the case here, as this Beaujolais is a bit of all right.
I tried this first on its own, then brought the bottle back to enjoy with a turkey-cranberry-brie baguette. At first, the pairing was quite nice, until the rind of the brie started to majorly interfere with my palate with a weird ammonia-like off-flavor, kind of like having a fish skin with red wine.
There is not very much science on wine and food pairing, so I’m not sure how to explain that. At any rate, I’ll be avoiding brie rind with red wine in the future.
Cherry and banana and other “fruity” aroma compounds are acetate esters. Acetate esters will, over time, reach an equilibrium with other components in wine and fruity aromas will disappear (Ref: Rapp and Mandery, “Wine Aroma”, Cellular and Molecular Life Science, 1986).
This is particularly problematic for wines like Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau, and it’s why, in most cases, you should drink Beaujolais-style wines pretty quickly, as they’ll lose that characteristic fruit profile. Don’t believe me? Check out the bargain bin at a wine store in February-March. I bet it’s full of that year’s Beaujolais Nouveau.
Factoid: Isoamyl acetate, which smells like bananas, is used to test the effectiveness of gasmasks, even to this day.