Damien Coquelet Beaujolais Villages 2009 Front Label
Damien Coquelet Beaujolais Villages 2009 Front Label

Damien Coquelet Beaujolais Villages 2009

  • RP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Coquelet 2009 Beaujolais-Villages – assembled from lots grown in several villages – smells effusively like a peach and blueberry compote; is lushly, generously, exuberantly fruited and billowing with sweetly-floral, lily-like inner-mouth perfume; and lingers lip-smackingly. This is another of those 2009s about which I can only say I don’t think wine of its appellation can get any better. Plan on savoring it over the next couple of years.

Damien Coquelet – who four years ago took over the Chiroubles vines of his step-father Georges Descombes and has since expanded his holdings – is evidently a very fast learner (or was done a disservice by me when I reviewed his 2007s positively but not ardently in issue 184). His 2009s represent sensational successes, even in the context of nature’s cooperation, not to mention terrific values. (Sadly, I have not tasted his 2008s.)

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Damien Coquelet

Damien Coquelet

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Damien Coquelet, France
Damien Coquelet bottled his first vintage, 2007, at just 20 years of age, but his wines have already reached striking levels of maturity and complexity.

Damien is Georges Descombes' step-son, and has worked alongside his step-father since early childhood. Learning everything from Descombes-both in the vines and in their now shared cellar-has instilled the same values in Damien's work ethic: organic viticulture, hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero intervention in the cellar and little if any sulfuring at bottling.

Damien currently works nine hectares, 2.5 of which he owns. The Beaujolais-Villages, Morgon and Chiroubles are usually bottled the January following the vintage, while an old-vine Morgon and Chiroubles are barrel-aged and released 18 months after harvest.

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The bucolic region often identified as the southern part of Burgundy, Beaujolais actually doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the rest of the region in terms of climate, soil types and grape varieties. Beaujolais achieves its own identity with variations on style of one grape, Gamay.

Gamay was actually grown throughout all of Burgundy until 1395 when the Duke of Burgundy banished it south, making room for Pinot Noir to inhabit all of the “superior” hillsides of Burgundy proper. This was good news for Gamay as it produces a much better wine in the granitic soils of Beaujolais, compared with the limestone escarpments of the Côte d’Or.

Four styles of Beaujolais wines exist though most is sold under the basic Beaujolais appellation. The simplest, and one that has regrettably given the region a subpar reputation, is Beaujolais Nouveau. This is the Beaujolais wine that is made using carbonic maceration (a quick fermentation that results in sweet aromas) and is released on the third Thursday of November in the same year as harvest. It's meant to drink young and is flirty, fruity and fun. The rest of Beaujolais is where the serious wines are found. Beaujolais-Villages, which must come from the hilly northern part of the region, offer reasonable values with some gems among them. The superior section are the cru vineyards coming from ten distinct communes: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. Any cru Beajolais will have its commune name prominent on the label.

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Delightfully playful, but also capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-packed wines. From Beaujolais, Gamay generally has three classes: Beaujolais Nouveau, a decidedly young, fruit-driven wine, Beaujolais Villages and Cru Beaujolais. The Villages and Crus are highly ranked grape growing communes whose wines are capable of improving with age whereas Nouveau, released two months after harvest, is intended for immediate consumption. Somm Secret—The ten different Crus have their own distinct personalities—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant and Morgon is structured and age-worthy.

UWWLD52004_2009 Item# 112916

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