Old Man Rickling’s Birthday/2014 Cru Beaujolais Blind Tasting

Tasted February 20, 2016 by L'enfant sauvage with 276 views


Got a bunch of the old DC Unagi crowd together to fete Mr. OG and drink some '14 cru Beaujolais. And it was good.

Flight 1 (1 note)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Domaine Didier Grappe Crémant du Jura Clash France, Jura, Crémant du Jura
Clean but simple fruit. Some minerality, good acidity. Fairly middle of the road though, I’d probably expect this to cost around $20, not $30. For $30, I can drink Belluard.

Flight 2 (6 notes)

2014 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie
My wine and group’s favorite on the night. Brightly floral and nuanced. Beautiful purple-ish fruit, by which I mean cherry along with some darker, grapier flavors, and touches of anise and citrus. Good acid, soft tannins initially that eventually became more prominent. Softer than the #2 wine (Bouland Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Mélanie) Pure, smooth feel, but it is really the floral/perfume-like notes that make this a killer wine, especially at this price point (little more than half the cost of the Lapierre; a third of the cost of the Cuvée Marcel Lapierre. Group’s #1.
1 person found this helpful Comment
2014 Marcel Lapierre Morgon France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
Amazingly, this opened with more notes of ripe, almost stewed, fruit than any other wine on the night, including the Cuvée Marcel Lapierre. Now, it blew off and eventually tasted lighter than the Cuvée Lapierre. This initial impression may have been due to the fact that this bottle was not decanted, while some of the other bigger wines here were, but it was certainly surprising. Riper cherry than the Coudert, which gives a more purple fruit profile. Once the ripe/stewed notes blew off this showed light and lovely. Nice acid spine, some mineral notes, clean and less brooding than the 12s or 13s, but with good depth. Group’s #4.
2014 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly
Good. Based on my previous experience with Thivin, I found this surprisingly open for business at this tender age. Softer than previous iterations of Thivin. Nothing particularly complex here, and lacking the beauty of the Coudert and the Lapierre, but nice tart red fruit, light citrus notes. This is drinking fine now and will probably get better for a while. Group’s #5.
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2014 Domaine du Vissoux / Pierre-Marie Chermette Fleurie Poncié France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie
While folks were split on their preferred wine, this was universally the least favorite. Mark’s wine (yet another Rickling own goal). I doubt it would have been poorly received on its own, but in comparison with the rest of the flight this showed as sweet, grapey, and relatively simple. Not bad, but lacking in that moreish acid that is so key in Beaujolais. Group’s #6.
2014 Daniel Bouland Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Mélanie France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly
This was definitely the surprise of the night, at least to me. Pretty damn structured. Even with the structure, it might not age as gracefully as some of the other wines in this group (will depend on how the fruit holds up), but it sure is drinking well now. Most acidic wine of the night (which is saying something), possibly the most tannic as well (which isn’t really saying much). Bright, complex, fruit; anise; orange peel. More mineral than flowery. Group’s #2.
2014 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
The relation between this and the Lapierre regular cuvée was clear. That sounds stupid, but in a blind tasting, it’s worth noting. That said, I don’t think this special cuvée made a very good case, at least not at this early age, to be worthy of an extra $20 investment over the regular. This definitely grew more interesting over time, but it didn’t really distinguish itself given that it was easily the most expensive bojo of the night. For this money, I think I’d probably rather get me some Foillard Côte de Py. Group’s #3.

Flight 3 (1 note)

White - Sweet/Dessert
1971 Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Coteaux du Layon
Good on day 1. Really good on day 2 and 3. A little disjointed initially, but more balanced on subsequent days. It gained in acidity, richness, and body over time. Distinctive nutty and cheesy qualities. Interesting to have such an aged wine (even older than the birthday boy himself). That said, I didn’t enjoy this as much as quarts de chaume or sauterne. My first experience with this wine, so hard to draw any other conclusions.
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