This week I thought I’d recommend something that would showcase the superior quality that can be experienced when you spend a little more on your wine. I actually bought this a few weeks ago, when I popped in to the Wicklow Wine Company shop on Main Street in the town centre. Master of Wine, Dermot Nolan, was manning the shop and I gladly engaged in conversation regarding the wine trade and various other vinous subjects. As I was in one of Ireland’s best wine shops, I asked Dermot for his suggestion on something to try. He took me through a few different wines before I decided to pick up a bottle of Domaine de Thulon‘s 1947 1er Millésime 2009. This is not a wine from 1947, but rather the year refers to the when the first harvest took place on the estate – 1er millésime translates as first harvest.
This wine comes from the estate of Thulon in Beaujolais owned by Annie and René, who were tenant farmers at the domaine until they bought the farm in 1987, and now run the business with their children Carine and Laurent. The 1947 1er Millésime 2009 is 100% Gamay, a grape that produces light and fruity wines, similar to Pinot Noir. Technically Beaujolais is part of Burgundy, but the wines are distinctly different. Beaujolais is to the south of the region and has a different topography. The wines are also generally lighter and fruitier than their Burgundian counterparts to the north, and Beaujolais wines will usually be more consistent from one vintage to the next.
Ask any sommelier worth their salt and they will tell you that well made Beaujolais wines will suit any occasion. They match with a huge variety of foods and can be drunk just as easily by themselves. They can be complex, yet easy drinking and will express the story of where they came from. This wine, the 1947 1er Millésime 2009, does just that. Aged for 12 months in oak barrels, the wine has taken on spice flavours that have become even more structured over time in the bottle. The spice from the oak is subtle and marries perfectly with the fruit in the wine. Raspberries, plums and kirsch mix delightfully with vanilla and cinnamon. Unlike the light bodied Beaujolais Nouveau, that is usually associated with the region, this 1947 1er Millésime, has a lovely medium body that matches well with food. There is also an earthy flavour, that lets you almost taste where the grapes were grown. This is a delicious wine that was a delight to drink over the course of an evening. If you’re having food this could go well with just about anything, although a lovely pink duck breast, or camembert and cranberry jam would be ideal.