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Jean-Paul Thévenet, Morgon ‘Le Clachet’

Jean-Paul Thévenet, Morgon ‘Le Clachet’

Nouveau? Non! Le Beaujolais Ancien est Arrivé

This Thursday is Beaujolais Nouveau Day, when we’re all supposed to get a bit squiffy on bubblegum-scented purple party wine that was still grapes a few weeks ago and will taste decidedly tired by March.  But Bojo has a more serious side exemplified by the ten Crus, the best villages, who use their own names on the label.  The most serious of them all are Moulin-à-Vent and Morgon, whose deep, dark wines can age into something very like good Burgundy.
Made by Jean-Paul Thévenet, one of the “Gang of Four” Morgon producers who pioneered natural wine back in the 80s, this is organic, biodynamic, wild yeast fermented and made without any added SO2.  From the great 2015 vintage, it’s a big, brooding beastie filled with fruits of the forest.  As far removed from contrived and industrial Nouveau as it’s possible to get, this authentic and artisanal wine is magnificent now but will only improve.
There was another Gang Of Four in the early 80s who had revolutionary ideals and refused to compromise.  No, not the SDP.

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Available at £15.92 per bottle


Beaujolais is the textbook example of a lightweight red that can be chilled.  But this one is a proper red, with tannin, so serve it at proper red wine temperature: 16 to 18°C.
This wine smelt lovely from the moment I popped the cork; there’s no reduction here.  But if you’re opening a bottle you’ll want to decant it anyway since, unlike aggressively-filtered mass-market Beaujolais, some bottles (though not all) have thrown a little sediment.
Bojo is also noted for being the archetypal party red that doesn’t need food.  Again, not this one!  Pair it with something French and red-friendly, like a plate of charcuterie and a couple of cornichons.  For a more substantial meal try the classic steak frites, which will work well with the wine’s savoury tannins.

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Jean-Paul Thévenet
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