Pierre Chermette Beaujolais 2014
Wine: Pierre Chermette
I grabbed this bottle last week at Faubourg Wines on St. Claude Avenue to take to a Thanksgiving/Birthday party on Thursday. Beaujolais is a classic Thanksgiving pairing, with a soft tannin, ripe cherry profile that makes it super quaffable and food-versatile. This one was a gem and, being in an appropriate giving-sharing mood, I left the bottle on the wine table, among roughly two dozen others. My mistake was in pouring only half a glass (so I could properly swirl and take notes). When I went back for more, someone had swiped the bottle. I looked everywhere for it, even in the trash. This wine is so delicious, it'll make you dig through the garbage at a holiday gathering amid strangers, social acceptance be damned. Whether I was hoping for a few more drops or just looking to prove it existed at all, I can not say. Fortunately, I'm fairly confident I can score another.
Pierre Chermette Beaujolais 2014 is the gorgeous wine child of Martine and Pierre-Marie at Domaine du Vissoux. This is natural wine through and through. The Chermettes keep the yields low in the vineyards, allowing the grapes to fully ripen with plenty of natural sugar, which translates into balanced alcohol and alluring flavors. The wine is vinified in the traditional method, which is technically a semi-carbonic process, rather than the modernized carbonic maceration I wrote about last week. In this case, the whole bunches are placed in an open topped container and left alone with their native yeasts. Fermentation begins both within each berry and also within any must that has begun to fill the tank as a result of the weight of the berries crushing those on the bottom. A layer of carbon dioxide forms naturally and seals the tank. Sulphur is used sparingly throughout the winemaking and bottling process.
The result is a friendly terroir-driven wine with cherry aromas and flavors, generous ripe fruit, plus a little earth and funk. It's juicy, soft and delicious. Get some, then pat yourself on the back.