Domaine Cheysson Chiroubles 2009
by Cynthia Hurley
NY Times says "one of the best Beaujolais vintages ever produced"!
"Lip-smacking yet thought-provoking revelation of quality for its appellation" - Robert Parker
Uncork this now! Is there a more delicious everyday red?
And now we all get the benefit of a spectacular, maybe historic Beaujolais vintage...
"The combination of deliciously sweet, small, thick-skinned berries - displaying a perfect balance of sugar and acidity and extremely low yields has winemakers and producers anticipating that 2009 will be one of the greatest vintages Beaujolais has ever known." -The New York Times
Our perennial choice for the best in Beaujolais is Domaine Cheysson. Here is what David Schildknecht from The Wine Advocate says about their 2009: Rated 91: "After being delighted to discover Jean Pierre Large's wines with his 2006 (reviewed in issue 178) I somehow, reprehensibly, missed out on tasting either of the two subsequent vintages, but the Domaine Cheysson 2009 Chiroubles confirms the existence of major talent, not to mention the presumption of excellent terroir. Red raspberry and red currant mingle with black tea and peony in the nose, then combine vividly - right down to the tart, invigoratingly bitter crunch of their seeds - on the palate, with smoky, saline, and alkaline accents. There is a saline, exuberantly tart berry-brightness to the finish that positively exhilarates. The 2006 was still lovely 12 months ago, and I would expect this exceptional value 2009 to be worth following for 5-6 years." - David Schildknecht
Domaine Cheysson is one of the best producers in Beaujolais . Parker has even selected it in his "World's Best Wine Values under $25 (of course this is way under $25):
"This lip-smacking yet thought-provoking revelation of quality for its appellation features ripe fresh red raspberries accented by orange zest, white pepper, nut oils, and mineral notes." -R Parker
Remember, this is cru Beaujolais - nothing to do with Beaujolais Nouveau or even just Beaujolais. Cru Beaujolais is a far more serious and structured wine.
There are 10 villages in Beaujolais that are allowed to put their names on the labels because of their superior terroir. These wines are the cru Beaujolais. You may have heard of some of these special villages: Moulin-a-Vent, Brouilly, St Amour, Julienas, Fleurie, Regnie, Cote de Brouilly, Chenas, Morgan, and Chiroubles.
Beaujolais is 100% Gamay. Gamay is an ancient grape type and grown in lots of places, but it finds its most pure and delicious expression in Beaujolais and there is little argument about that.
Domaine Cheysson is a 36 hectare estate on one of the highest points in Beaujolais. It is considered one of the best sources for Chiroubles and I can certainly testify to that as evidenced by the small mountain of cardboard cartons I have cleaned out over the years.
This is wine you absolutely have to have. With its pungent cherry/raspberry and cassis flavors it is utterly gouleyant (gulpable) as the French say. Cynthia Hurley