Though technically the southernmost region of the Burgundy appellation, climate-wise, Beaujolais has more in common with the Rhone Valley. And while the red wine grape for the rest of Burgundy is Pinot Noir, here it is Gamay, which typically produces a lighter, fruit-forward wine. It's a style that makes for a great transition choice as we segue from the heat of summer to the cooler days of fall. Here are the panel's top three picks:
2016 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais, $17.99
The aromas are fresh and bright with notes of strawberry, blackberry, leather, licorice and spice. Touches of earth, slate and dill color the lively fruit flavors, while soft acidity comes through on the finish. This Domaine uses no chemicals in its hand-harvested vineyards, and relies on natural yeasts for fermentation.
This wine opens with an intense mix of strawberry-rhubarb and ripe plum aromas. As you might expect from the recent vintage, the palate is fresh and fruity, combining strawberry, cherry, plum and boysenberry flavors. This is a well-balanced wine with a long, velvety finish.
An earthy mix of cherry and sweet cranberry greet you on the nose of this wine, backed by white pepper and green tea. It's a bit reserved on first sip, but with time in the glass it opens up to reveal lovely dark fruits with a lively minerality. A surprising tannic grip adds texture to the finish. Chenas is the rarest of the ten Beaujolais crus (wine regions), and its wines improve with age.