Purity of purpose is to be admired in all things. In the world of wine, two French wine regions, neither of which make particularly expensive wines, have clearly established themselves as producers of the most versatile and purely rewarding food wines made anywhere. Those regions are Muscadet for white wine and Beaujolais for red. Like a yin and yang wine symbol they both provide a harmonious whole that includes great balance, lively minerality and a palate presence the works on stealth - perhaps not dramatic at first, but by the second glass you are entranced and addicted. They both exhibit the primary requirement that makes a wine compelling. That is that the second glass is far more interesting than the first.
Like all wine regions, most of the wine produced in the Beaujolais region is boring commercial plonk. To make things worse, the region has been cursed by what should have been a blessing. Nouveau Beaujolais, a fun party wine for the winter after the vintage came to define the region, which is so much more. Certainly the amount of great Beaujolais produced is miniscule compared to the amount of industrial wine produced, but the same thing can be said for Napa, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chianti and every wine region of significance in the world. Unfortunately for Beaujolais, their worst wine also became their most famous.
Yet, like in Muscadet, in Beaujolais there are small producers with outstanding vineyards and a burning passion who create great art that sparkles like stars bringing small points of brilliance to the vast empty darkness of the commercial universe of wine.
Recently two wines brought home this purity of purpose to me. These two Cru Beaujolais are so compelling to drink with a meal that they elevate any dining experience. Both of these wines I matched with a simple herb roasted chicken and the experience was food and wine matching nirvana.
These wines are imported by Kermit Lynch and should be purchased by the case for drinking over the next several years. Better yet, they are both under $25. What is most compelling about both of these wines is that with each sip the volume of pleasure is kicked up a notch and reaching the end of the bottle is a cause for sorrow.
2005 Morgon, Domaine Marcel Lapierre is a svelte beauty, shy at first, it opens into a brilliant balanced whole. A zesty, exotic blend of ripe black fruit and a tightrope of a backbone, that exudes a punchy silkiness and a haunting finish. The 2005 Moulin-a-Vent, Domaine Diochon is simply astounding with a meal. Racy and elegant with a juicy minerality that is almost electric on the palate. A real marvel of harmony and balance.