Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Villages 2017
Great with coq au vin (Chicken cooked in a red wine sauce) or charcuterie (garlic sausage, dry sausage).
Their passion for the wine and the vines leads to seek excellence in the production of wines with a true personality that expresses the typicity of the terroir. In 1918, Jean-Marie Sambardier enters the field as a worker at the winery. Assisted by his son John, they endeavor to develop all the vineyard. In 1962, Jean Sambardier decides to buy the entire farm to start his own production and diversify appellations. The purchase is done in "viager" - a system of payment where the buyer usually pays about 30% up front and then a monthly fee until the death of the seller. In 1972, Jean-Noël Sambardier returns to the field determined to continue the tradition while developing the business. Frederic, his eldest son, joins him in 1999 after a strong and rewarding experience of wine making and distributing in the United States. The other brother, Damien, joined them in 2000, after having made many great wines at Domaine Laroche in Chablis.
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 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 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.
Delightfully playful, but also capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-packed wines predominantly from Beaujolais. In 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.