Blissful Beaujolais

Beaujolais has been out of fashion lately, likely because many people associate it with the Beaujolais Nouveau, those juicy-as-can-be wines that arrive the third Thursday of November. Personally, I like the Beaujolais Nouveau—I like it as a harvest festival and think it’s as amusing a seasonal marker as jack-o’-lanterns. But I don’t like it nearly as much as the 2009 Beaujolais, which many critics are calling the best Beaujolais vintage in 20 years. The simpler 2009s are fruity, mineral, and deep, like a fine French Pinot Noir at a fraction the price. The prestige 2009 vintage showcases the Gamay grape, which makes the wine, as astonishingly elegant and spicy. Still, Beaujolais’ unfashionable reputation persists, so the prices remain low. Take advantage! And cheers to a great vintage.

Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais-Villages Flower Label 2009

While the entry-level Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais is the best it’s ever been in 2009, all cherry-berry joy with a bit of coffee depth, splurge for this. Sourced only from the best official Beaujolais areas, albeit all 37 of them, the Villages is mineral and energetic, offering Gamay’s signature raspberries with a spice-box elegance. Available: MGM Liquors, including 3254 W. Lake St., Mpls.; 612-922-1130; ($12)

Georges Duboeuf, Moulin-à-Vent Domaine de la Tour du Bief 2009

Smoky and elegant, with a roasted-plum aspect layered over the cherries and supported by a mocha spine. Refreshing, but sophisticated. Available: The Cellars, including 16605 Cty. Rd, 24, Plymouth; 763-559-2114; ($16)

Château Thivin, Brouilly, 2009

Truly delectable, with notes of cherry and spice. The perfect dinner-party wine, it matches with everything from a mixed grill to cheese and fruit. Available: Solo Vino, 517 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 651-602-9515; ($23)

Michel Chignard, Fleurie Les Moriers, Beaujolais, 2009

Fleurie is famous for its flowery fragrance, but this single-estate wine has an astonishing minerality and a prickly, cedar-edged delicacy. Drink it all through the holidays: it pairs beautifully with turkey, cranberry, and Christmas ham, as well as late-summer cookouts. Available: France 44, 4351 France Ave. S., Mpls.; 612-925-3252; ($28)