Before we begin I want you to know that I have very high regard for French wines. In fact I believe that with barely any effort at all, they have the ability to kick our California wines all over the room. When they feel like it, that is.
Now, today, we examine a $15 red from 2009 that I bought at Total Wine. The bottle says “red burgundy.” In fact, it is a beaujolais. Ahh, yes, the French. Their labels are so user-friendly. Their marketing is just so spot-on, warmly welcoming Americans with their every move. (You see, it can be a beaujolais and still have ‘burgundy’ written on the label, because beaujolais is one type of burgundy.) (Ahhh, thank you . . . . wait – that still doesn’t make any sense . . . plus, what is beaujolais, exactly? And burgundy?) (Shut up.) (Yes, thank you.)
Other fun things on this bottle for Americans include ”MORGON” in massive letters, ”Georges Duboeuf,” ”Jean Descombes,” the very helpful “A. F.71570 Romaneche-Thorins,” and “W.J. Deutsch.” Great. Thanks. Anyway, that’s pretty much it. It never mentions beaujolais, and never tells you what gosh-darned grape this wine is made from.
(“Oh,” I said, acting like that was helpful information.)
In fact, after you study this bottle at the store, you would be forgiven for wondering, “so what the hell is this shit?” Ahhh, but then you’re supposed to just drink it, and forgive. Wine Spectator did, and they gave this dark purple juice a whopping 93. That’s very, very impressive.
However, I do not give this juice a 93. Or even a 92. It tastes, fine — not great. I do not want more and more. It’s fairly simple, medium bodied, extremely fruit forward (strawberries and slightly stinky blackberries), yet also has a tannic bite that makes it feel dry in your mouth. Kind of like Welch’s grape juice. Actually, really a lot like Welch’s grape juice. Athough it’s by no means terrible, even if it had a label that Americans could read, this red would remain: