This year's Beaujolais Nouveau is about to be sprung on the public with much hoopla. While the festivities are fun (not to mention a great marketing ploy), there's more to Beaujolais than Beaujolais Nouveau.
Namely, Beaujolais Villages, and even above that, the crus. Here's one from the stellar 2009 vintage that has all the right stuff — complexity, finesse and structure, and a taste of earth and blackberries. Though it's 100% Gamay, the terroir comes through so clearly that if you tasted this blind, you might think it's a Burgundy. And though Chateau des Jacques has been owned by Jadot for almost 15 years, the estate still has its own winemaker and ferments and makes the wines in a traditional way. This one's a beauty.
Have it with a simple roast chicken, grilled salmon, sausages and stews.
—S. Irene Virbila
Price: About $20
Style: Complex and structured
What it goes with: Roast chicken, salmon, sausages and stews
Where to find it: Envoyer Fine Wines in Laguna Hills, (949) 701-9175, http://www.envoyerfinewines.com; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; and Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com