Georges Descombes Saint-Amour Vielles Vignes, dense, juicy blackberries
From Ned at Devenish:
Saint Amour is the most northern Beaujolais cru and also one of the smallest. It also has some of the most complicated soil with alluvial matter, sand, granite, calcerous soil, and I think some volcanic matter in places too. This is the richest and most powerful of the wines I got from Georges. Like all the Vielle Vignes this is hand harvested, the grapes are chilled and then put into a 60 hl cement tank where they ferment carbonically for up to a month. Then the wine ages in 228L barrels for a year before bottling and more aging in the bottle. Georges uses no chemical interventions in the winery except for an extremely small sulfur addition at bottling.
Aroma: This is a lovely inviting perfumed sort of aroma with a lot of different facets... gamey and woodsey, wild and exuberant at the same time. It smells rather like chocolate-covered black cherries: savory and vividly fruity all at once.
Taste: wow! So much dense juicy blackberry! This is surprisingly powerful and ripe! But it never lets you forget that this is a Cru Beaujolais: for all the density and power this is a subtle beautiful poised red wine. The finish has a hint of that dark chocolate but the blackberry runs right all the way through the wine. There's a little snap of acidity up front, a bit of crunch from some granite in the midpalate, then that hint of dark chocolate followed up by a lovely lingering clear raspberry flavor at the finish.