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Georges Duboeuf – Family, Tradition and the Wines of 2014

Georges Duboeuf vector logoBorn into wine tradition in the area of Pouilly-Fuissé in the Mâconnais, at the southern tip of Burgundy, Georges Duboeuf has been around wine his whole life.  He founded Les Vins Georges Duboeuf in 1964, after he had already been pioneering innovation in the local wine industry for over a decade.  The rest, quite literally, is now history.  Georges was the first to begin bottling the individual Domaine wines and

Regions of Beaujolais and Macon

Regions of Beaujolais and Macon

distributing them.  It is a model still in place today, and the company acts as negociant, blending some wines from various vineyards as well as bottling independent Domaine wines, although the family does own some Domaine property of their own as well as vineyards around the family home.  Now 83, Georges and his family continue to offer outstanding wines and promote the regions he knows so well.  His whites from Mâconnais and reds

Georges old Citroen Mobile Bottling Tuck

Georges old Citroen Mobile Bottling Tuck

from Beaujolais are classic examples, highlighting differing terroir and styles.  We recently were fortunate enough to have a chance to taste through a range of his 2014 wines from both these areas, and our impressions are given below.

A note here: the 2015 vintage is due on store shelves within a month or two, and it is a much heralded vintage.  We agree, having tried several, and the wines are bigger and richer than usual. The 2014 vintage is more typical, however, and well worth getting to know.  In 2014 the differences between the Cru villages in Beaujolais are more noticeable and distinct, and the classic profiles stand out from one to the other.  The whites from the Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St.-Veran are clean and crisp, with bright fruit and great balance.  Try them all if you can, and then you’ll be able to appreciate how much different the 2015’s will be.  Both excellent, but very different and distinct.  That diversity, manufactured by nature within the same region and from the same wine makers, is the beauty of wine.

Here are the wines we sampled.

The Whites:

IMG_2192

2014 Georges Duboeuf Mâcon-Villages – 100% Chardonnay here from the Mâcon, sporting a light straw color with lots of citrus, tropical fruit and floral notes on the nose.  This is very aromatic.  Nice acid keeps it beautifully balanced.  Some lemon comes through on the finish and it is clean throughout.  Some nice texture as well in this medium bodied wine.  Excellent, and just under $20.

2014 Emile Beranger (Pouilly-Fuissé) – also 100% Chardonnay, this time a Domaine wine from Pouilly-Fuissé, the wine is light straw in color and brings tropical fruit on the nose.  Some of this is aged in French oak for up to eight months, but the oak is in the background.  It would be great with linguini and clams.  $37.99

2014 Domaine les Chenevieres (Mâcon-Villages) – another Domaine wine from the Mâcon-Villages AOC, here we have a rich, IMG_2198aromatic white wine.  Honeysuckle is very evident on the nose, along with peach, pear and some apricot.  This has good texture, and the palate mimics the nose.  Clean throughout this is a very well made and delicious wine.  Long too.  Value List material here.  $21.99

2014 Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé – the flower label Pouilly-Fuissé wine, from the region but not a specific Domaine, this wine is light golden in color with some green tinges.  Very clean on the nose there is some pear, some stone fruit and some spice.  Maybe some green apple too.  While aged in French oak this is in the background.  It’s just off dry, with great balance and a long, clean finish.  Also Value List at $34.99.  This is really, really good.

And now the reds:IMG_2200

2014 Domaine de Javernieres (Morgon) – this is dark garnet, considerably darker than most 2014 Beaujolais.  The nose is full of red and black fruit, some wood, as well as herbal notes.  It’s richer on the palate than most from this vintage, with some tannins and a long finish.  This is really excellent Beaujolais, either with food or on its own.  Value List as well at $19.99.

2014 Georges Duboeuf Morgon – the flower label wine from Morgon, this is purple with red flashes.  The nose is rich and the palate is as well, with cherry and plum along with the traditional kirsch notes.  It’s deeper than you would expect, rich and long.  Some tannin joins the party.  One of my favorite 2014 Beaujolais.  $19.99 and Value List.

2014 Chateau de Poupets – this is a Cru level wine from Juliénas, and is a brilliant garnet in color.  Black cherry and spice with a hint of grape jelly on the nose.  Maybe just a touch of bitterness at the end, this is good but not our favorite.  $19.99

2014 Cote du Py (Morgon) – this is garnet to ruby in color, with tons of fruit on the nose.  Cherry dominates.  It’s medium bodied and rich in the mouth with bright fruit.  It’s smooth and round, with subdued tannins.  A long and clean finish wraps it up.  Very good and $21.99.

2014 Domaine de Quatre Vents (Fleurie) – Fleurie is the Cru region known for its elegance, and this wine is no exception.  It is a IMG_2203beautiful purple/ruby color with a nose of rasberry, red currant and some darker fruit.  It is well integrated, the fruit is seamless and the acid is beautifully balanced.  Good length as well.  This is elegant and delicious.  $21.99 and Value List.

2014 Domaine du Pourpre (Moulin-A-Vent) – Domaine level wine from the Cru region of Moulin-A-Vent, this has a nose of darker fruits with lots of spice.  It has depth, even while the brisk acid keeps it fresh.  Medium to medium+ in body, with noticeable but not harsh tannins.  There is some black cherry jam and red licorice on the palate.  While there is no oak, you get more of an impression of a serious red wine here.  Gamay can make serious wine.  Here is proof.  Excellent wine at $26.99.

2014 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages – this comes from some of the 38 villages in Beaujolais, and really is a pretty classic example of it’s type.  It’s a brilliant purple-red in the glass and carries notes of red fruit and some spice.  On the palate the fruit comes through cleanly, but it’s the spice that really takes center stage.  Clean and crisp.  It’s also only about $12.

2014 Jean Ernest Descombes (Morgon) – a Cru wine from Morgon, this juice is garnet to purple in color, and has a nose of raspberry and some black cherry.  It’s medium bodied.  The rasberry comes through more on the palate, and the tannins are fairly significant.  This is a great food wine, and I would pair it to whatever dish you would normally open a Cabernet Franc with. $21.99

2014 Domaine des Rosiers (Moulin-a-Vent) – Moulin-a-Vent is know as the “King” of Beaujolais.  (Fleurie would be the “Queen”)  It tends to be the bigger, more tannic and serious wine of the bunch.  There is some manganese in the soil there, the only place in Beaujolais that happens.   This Moulin-a-Vent has nice structure to go with its floral and perfumed fruit notes.  There is some noticeable tannin and this 2014 can age.  Also, the fruit tends more toward black rather than red.  It’s around $24 and an excellent bottle of wine.

That’s a lot of wine, and a lot of good wine.  The 2014 vintage is quintessential Beaujolais, made for food with some wines getting a bit

Georges and Franck Duboeuf

Georges and Franck Duboeuf

heavier and richer.  The fruit is beautiful, the acid brisk and the wines are clean.  On the white side the Chardonnay’s from the Mâcon are crisp and fresh,  but also bring some body and texture which makes them serious whites and totally delicious.  If you like Chardonnay without the heavy oak but with the complexity and texture, you should be drinking these.

Georges Duboeuf is certainly an icon in French wine, and wine in general.  I can still remember the bottles of Duboeuf flower label reds Cheri and I opened many years ago as we started our journey in wine.  We didn’t have an appreciation then for who Georges Duboeuf was, and what he had done.  We do now.

Try some of the 2014 vintage from Beaujolais, as well as the whites from Mâconnais.  Again,  2015 vintage is coming very soon, and is quite different.  We suggest you try the 2014 vintage first.

Goerges Duboeuf is imported and distributed in the U.S. by Quintessential Wines.  You can visit their website here.  You’ll see a complete list of the wines as well as much of the background info we used here.

A votre santé!

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