Sunday, August 21, 2011

2009 Thibault Liger-Belair MOULIN-A-VENT "Vieilles Vignes" (Beaujolais, France)

This was a very good, very large-boned, soulful wine.  But I wasn't thrilled with it at first because it really tastes like it has little in common with Beaujolais from other towns in the region.  I think I am coming to the realization that, even though Moulin-a-Vent is considered by many the pinnacle of Beaujolais, it's just not a style I like as Beaujolais as much as the other communes (like Cote de Brouilly, Julienas, Regnie, etc.)  Moulin-a-Vents tend to be bigger, more structured, earthier, and do not have the crunchy, vibrant, granite-laced cherry fruit I love when I think of Beaujolais.

And perhaps that's my problem:  I'm measuring Moulin-a-Vents against a Beaujolais background, when, really, to me, it tastes like something other than Beaujolais.  Maybe I'd enjoy them more if I could purge my mind of "Beaujolais-think" when I'm drinking these.

Anyway . . .  This had an almost completely saturated, very black-hued ruby color.  It was extremely earthy at first in a dry, barnyardy kind of way, but after airing, intensely stony scents began to dominate, along with some crisp, dark cherry and plum skin fruit.  It was mouthfilling and bone dry, with intense acidity as well.  Exceedingly stony, minerally flavors dominate, but with blackberry fruit underneath all that terroir.  Long, dry, intense, and fairly tannic (for Beaujolais) finish.  This wine clearly needs some bottle ageing to settle down and let the flavors fill out to fit the physical structure of the wine.  Still, it's very enjoyable with food right now.  Just don';t think of it as a Beaujolais.  Think of it more as a Gigondas, but made with Gamay instead of Rhone varietals.  B+(+)*.  Was $25 from B-21 Wines in Florida.

* The "(+)" means that the wine may well improve with 1-3 years in a cool cellar or wine fridge.

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