2018 Chiroubles, Domaine de la Grosse Pierre

Chiroubles is one of my favourite Beaujolais Crus (the 10 jewels in the Beaujolais crown that go under their own appellation names), but it’s never been one of the most popular in the UK. It’s one of the smaller Crus, admittedly, but I think the problem is more to do with pronunciation: the likes of Morgon and Fleurie look so much easier to say. Apart from being small (under 400 hectares), Chiroubles is the highest, has the highest proportion of granite (pink granite) and the steepest slopes. As a result, it harvests a week later than the rest of the region and it all adds up to Gamay grapes with particularly enticing floral aromas, fruit and freshness and a structure that feels more delicate than most of the other Crus. But the delicacy is deceptive: there’s an intensity of flavour (not for nothing that extra week) that means Chiroubles ages well. This one, from the Passot family, is absolutely textbook, with strawberry, rose and sappy, morning-dew aromas and a plush, silky palate with lovely clarity and orange-peel freshness. All the Beaujolais Crus are food-friendly, but here are a few suggestions for this wine: monkfish with bacon, tuna, salmon, mushroom dishes, aubergine dishes, smoked duck, rillettes (pork, duck or goose), chunky patés, charcuterie, or roast chicken. And drink it cool, but not chilled to death. 12.5%

Joanna Simon in joannasimon.com, 29th Aug 2019

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