On our trip to Burgundy last year, part of our remit was to source a new Beaujolais Villages and to this end we made a few visits to producers we had not met before. Tough job, I know. Our penultimate visit was to Domaine Rochette. Typically enough, we were running a little late so our visit coincided with lunch. We just about managed to drag ourselves through the dining area laid for the 20 or so workers who had been out in the vineyards all morning picking the grapes. The gorgeous smells emanating from the kitchen were making our mouths water and the tables were laden with cheeses, desserts and fresh fruit. We were hungry. It was torture.
Happily, we were soon appeased by the tasting. The Domaine Rochette wines were really delicious. All displayed lovely concentrated ripe summer fruit flavours and the characteristic soft tannins and freshness we expect from Beaujolais, but these wines have enough gravitas to hold your interest beyond the first sip. The Rochette family make quite a range of Beaujolais wines including many of the crus. Like most proud winemakers, they wanted to show us virtually the entire range. As always, time wasn’t on our side (and this time there was a plane to catch) so we had to make do with the highlights. Just as we were about to leave, the Rochette family informed us that we couldn’t possible leave without trying the jewel in their crown – their Regnié. It’s not hard to see why this is the wine they are famous for. Regnié is not as well known as say Brouilly, Fleurie or Morgon but it’s definitely one to watch out for. Regnié would typically be a little lighter, more open and approachable in its youth than Brouilly and doesn’t have quite the aromatic quality of Fleurie but it’s a lovely wine. It’s got all the signature characteristics of good Beaujolais – fruity, gentle, very approachable and eminently drinkable and, as an added bonus, tends to be great value for money.
Beaujolais can be easily overlooked at times but can offer real enjoyment to wine drinkers. The wines are quite low in tannin and (on the whole) are designed to be drunk young. This means they can be drunk on their own or with food and offer the wine drinker something flavoursome, refreshing and very enjoyable. They are definitely some of the ‘prettier’ wines on the market.
We have bought 3 of the lovely Rochette wines – Beaujolais Villages, Brouilly and Regnié all of which can currently be found adorning the shelves here in Crossgar. Now that winter finally appears to be on its way out and the sun is making a tentative appearance, we can even contemplate drinking them!
These wines will be available for tasting this Saturday 12 March from 12:00 – 5:00 pm