89

2020 Tesco Beaujolais, 89, Beaujolais

( £5, 12.5%, Tesco )

It’s increasingly tough to find drinkable, let alone enjoyable wines at £5 a bottle, but this own-label Gamay from Tesco and the Alliance des Vignerons de Beaujolais definitely qualifies. Juicy, supple and perfumed, with velvety tannins, raspberry and boiled sweet flavours and lots of tangy acidity. Just the thing for an end of summer picnic.

BuyDrinking window: 2021-23Similar Wines: £4-5, 85-89, France, Red, Gamay
92

2020 La Madone Gamay Sur Volcan, Côtes du Forez, Massif Central

( £12.95, 13%, The Wine Society )

I wish I’d known about someone like Gilles Bonnefoy when I lived in Clermont-Ferrand back in the 1980s, when good local wines were rare in the Massif Central. This is a wonderfully crunchy, sappy summer red grown on the volcanic soils that are a feature of the region. Made from Gamay, it’s a stony, unwooded delight, with plum and wild strawberry fruit and a satisfying, mineral-edged core.

BuyDrinking window: 2021-26Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, France, Gamay
91

2018 The Society's Exhibition Moulin à Vent, Beaujolais

( £11.50, 13.5%, The Wine Society )

Beaujolais Nouveau day may have passed you by last month – it certainly did me – but you don’t have to pay much more to get hold of something infinitely more serious from one of the region’s ten “crus”. Moulin à Vent tends to make some of the most structured examples of the Gamay grape, and that’s the case here. Spicy, peppery and refreshing, it has good structure and weight, succulent raspberry and red cherry fruit and just a hint of oak. A lip-smacking delight.

BuyDrinking window: 2020-25Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, France, Red, Gamay

Misunderstood Wines

by Chris Wilson
There are certain rights-of-passage conversations that take place as we make our journeys in life. Which football team do you support? Where did you grow up? What was your first...
88

2013 Tesco Beaujolais Villages

( £6.49, 12.5%, Tesco )

The older I get, the more I want to drink refreshing wines that don’t tire my palate, which may explain why I’m drinking more and more Beaujolais. This is Gamay and its gluggable, lip-smacking best, with juicy red berry and bramble fruit, bright acidity and supple tannins. Chill it before serving and see how versatile it is with food. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, Red, Gamay
90

Bouchard Père et Fils Fleurie, Beaujolais

( £10.99 down to £8.24, 12.5%, Waitrose )

Burgundian négociants such as Bouchard Père et Fils can be a great source of wines from neighbouring Beaujolais, too. This is mostly sourced from the Domaine du Château de Poncié and it’s a classically fruity, charming Fleurie, exhibiting fresh, juicy flavours of cherry, raspberry and pomegranate and a zesty finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Red, Gamay

Gaillac the Tortoise

by Matt Walls
Say the word ‘Gaillac’ and what does it conjure up? Not a lot. Florent Plageoles of leading estate Domaine Plageoles confirms “we have a big image problem”. It’s not that...
88

2011 Waitrose Beaujolais

( £6.99, 12.5%, Waitrose )

2011 turned out to be a very drinkable vintage in Beaujolais, just as it did in neighbouring Burgundy, and this own-lablel from teh Georges Duboeuf stable is a red-fruited thirstquencher with pithy acidity and notes of cherry and raspberry. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, Red, Gamay
90

2009 Domaine Lagneau, Régnié

( £9.95, 13%, Stone, Vine & Sun )

These 2009 Beaujolais crus really are delicious, so if you are looking for a gluggable summer red to chill out with, this Régnié is the perfect candidate. It’s wonderfully bright and aromatic, with notes of raspberry and red cherry, good texture, lightweight tannins and old vine concentration, with sappy acidity and a refreshing finish. It should keep for a year or two, too.

Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, Red, Gamay

Acid trip

by Tim Atkin
“Buy on an apple, sell on a piece of cheese,” runs an old wine trade saw. It’s good advice for consumers, too. If a wine, especially a red wine, can...

Beaujolais – more than nouveau

by Tim Atkin
Talking about Beaujolais in May feels weird, like donning thermals in the height of summer. This vibrant, juicy red is so closely associated with Beaujolais nouveau day, a worldwide celebration...