Juicy, Mouthfilling $18 Juliénas: Autumn Gamay Arrives

The 2018 vintage in the Beaujolais was another warm one, producing cuvées of remarkable inky intensity. On Beaujolais 2018s, William Kelley (WA) writes: “pleasure-bent, round and expressive, these are wines that will give a great deal of immediate pleasure.”

Jean-Marc Monnet’s 2018 Beaujolais reds arrived in our warehouse today, just in time for the fall. All of Monnet’s 2018s are impressive — they combine floral, juicy Gamay fruit with an unusually concentration and depth. If Beaujolais makes you think of faint, fruity, unserious wine, think again.

Monnet’s 2018 Juliénas is an extraordinary amount of wine packed into an $18 bottle.

Jean-Marc Monnet has quietly made his wine in every vintage since 1981 (that’s 37 years). All of his wines are raised traditionally, in foudres, and bottled “when they’re ready.” There’s no flash and no marketing, and hardly even a sign on the door; just really good wine year in and year out.

Monnet’s 2018 Juliénas is bold, masculine, mouthfilling, and simply outstanding. We sometimes describe good Beaujolais as Gamay that feels like Northern Rhône Syrah; in 2018, the Gamay might be closer to Mourvèdre.

The nose is darkly floral (Jean-Marc accurately noted peonies as a tasting note), with cassis, graphite, and minerals. The mouth is bold, smooth, rich, and seductive. The tannins are ripe and soft, with punchy fruit and a long, clean finish.


Monnet Juliénas 2018
bottle price: $18

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