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Professional Ratings: 90 The Wine Advocate
Region: Beaujolais, France
Style: Light & Fruity
Item no. 101116
Intense ruby in color, this Juliénas has a bouquet with both floral (irises and peonies) and fruit character (strawberry, peach and raspberry). Its typically firm texture comes from its backbone of natural acidity and tannin. Well-structured and flavorful, with perfect balance.
Juliénas, "imperial wine," was named after the great Julius Caesar. With its one-of-a-kind taste, it is also known as an "editorial wine," preferred by many French writers and a number of newsmen in Paris. Some of its greatest fans are from the satirical newspaper, Le Canard Enchaîné, who apparently created the amusing saying, "taking the waters at the spa in Juliénas." No doubt they dipped more than their ink pens into the red liquid.
In offering Juliénas frequent, humorous publicity, these journalists brought about its popularity. Joyful humor pairs well with Juliénas. The dynamic growers association conceived of a grand Tasting Cellar, complete with bacchanalian frescoes full of rustic merrymaking. Not just anywhere, however — in the old nineteenth-century style church built across the main street of Juliénas. Villagers, along with invited guests from show business and the press, gather at the Cellier de la Vieille Eglise for the big annual festival the second weekend in November. The first wines of the new harvest are rolled out for tasting and the colorful wine brotherhood inducts honored ambassadors of Juliénas into its ranks. The main celebrity attending is awarded exactly 104 bottles of their wine, just the right number to enjoy every Saturday and Sunday for an entire year. These people sure know how to have a good time! Deeply colored, solid and robust, Juliénas is a wine with excellent ageing potential and deserves to be given a noble repose in the cellar, to allow it to reach its maximum fullness.
The 2008 Julienas La Trinquee represents a cuvee from several growers farming what the Duboeufs consider the best sector of Julienas. Tart, bright red fruits are tinged with pepper, making for a striking contrast with this year’s flower label Julienas. This shows admirable penetration in an exhilaratingly refreshing, long finish rendered more interesting by suggestions of herb and stone. (The structured 2008 Julienas Chateau des Capitains was still in tank when I tasted it, rather perturbed by its CO2 – which will of course dissipate – but also by its wood component.) There is only a tiny lot of flower labeled Saint Amour this year, still in tank when I tasted it, juicily ripe, if a bit simple.
Excellent deep ruby hue. Lovely, shy, slightly grapy aromas of flowers and red fruit usher in flavors of red fruit set off by crisp acidity. An ideal food wine with a long, pleasing finish.