Beaujolais is back in fashion after a long spell in the doldrums – and a good thing too, since so many of the wines it sends to Ireland these days are of much higher quality than in the past. Few red styles are so easy to enjoy, with or without food. Of all the Beaujolais villages or crus with the right to make wine under their own name, Fleurie – among the most elegant – is Ireland’s favourite. And here comes a terrific example at an extremely tempting price.
The first thing you’ll notice is that enticing aromas waft from the glass. Raspberries, loganberries, blackberries, rose petals, violets… out they float, drawing you in. Then look out for the pure, juicy deliciousness of this medium-bodied red wine. It feels lively on the palate and has an admirably smooth texture. Not a trace of the elastoplast or over-ripe banana notes that sometimes bedevil Beaujolais. This version embodies charm and finesse in equal measure.
The vineyards of Château de Fleurie – a pretty, 18th-century, family-owned property – are planted on some of the pink granite that is regarded as top Beaujolais terroir. The winemaking approach is traditional Burgundian, and the wines are treated to a short period in cask before release to give them extra depth and harmony.
You could serve this lovely Fleurie with confidence at almost any Christmas or New Year gathering. While its fruity nature makes it a perfect candidate for a drinks and nibbles party, it also has enough stuffing (so to speak) to slip down easily with turkey and ham on the big day – or, better still, with leftovers on the days that follow. Beaujolais goes particularly well with cold meats of all kinds. It’s also a great match for moderately spicy dishes and creamy cheeses. Stock up.
From O’Briens outlets nationwide, down from €19.45 to €15.95 until December 31