At the end of a season it’s particularly easy to fall into a rut, even with wine. You continue reaching for the same wines week after week, until all of a sudden you realize that you haven’t tasted some of your favorite grapes and regions for months. A wake-up call came for me last week in the form of a book, The Dirty Guide to Wine, which categorizes wine regions by soil type (nerd alert!). After finishing the chapter on granite, I was incredibly thirsty for one thing in particular: good cru Beaujolais from a terroir-driven producer. On my lunch break hunt through the local wine shop, I came across the Mee Godard Morgon “Corcelette.”
Much is said among sommeliers about cru Beaujolais, but the gist is this: The entire region of Beaujolais makes juicy reds from the Gamay grape, but a collection of 10 regions in the northern Beaujolais make more characterful, serious wines. Here there is a higher concentration of granite soil, which gives edge and acidity to the wine. The Morgon cru is known for producing some of the most powerful, complex, and long-lived Beaujolais wines, and it is one of the more widely available crus.
Mee Godard is a fairly new winemaker in Beaujolais, having previously made wines in Champagne and Burgundy, and she produces old-vine, converting-to-organic wines from three vineyards in Morgon. This Corcelette is a softer entity, planted in soil with more sandstone, giving it an utterly pleasurable character. The nose is fragrant and enticing, with notes of just-picked blackberries, violet petals, cocoa powder, and fine stone. To me it smells like Thanksgiving dinner, but perhaps that’s just because I very often drink Beaujolais with my turkey — and since it smells a lot like homemade cranberry sauce with orange peels. Though tarter and tangier on the palate, it’s a juicier cru Beaujolais. The flavor is mouth-filling but not aggressive. It’s the kind of wine that’s completely and happily reinvigorating — exactly what you need to mix things up this fall.