Beaujolais

Beaujolais is almost entirely planted with the Gamay grape and produces mostly red wines. Around 70 million litres of Beaujolais are produced each year, or two-and-a-half times the entire wine production of the rest of Burgundy. More than half of this is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, although an Aladdin's trove of gloriously satisfying wines exist amongst the 10 named village crus that occupy a 15-mile strip of granite hills to the north.

Learn more about Beaujolais

The Beaujolais region occupies 22,000ha between Mâcon and Lyon, and spans 34 miles from north to south. Around 70 million litres of Beaujolais are produced each year, or two-and-a-half times the entire red and white wine production of the rest of Burgundy put together. More than half of this is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, and released on the third Thursday of November following each harvest. 

Beaujolais is almost exclusively planted with the Gamay grape, and produces mostly red wines. A small amount of white Beaujolais is produced from Chardonnay (or Aligoté) while a handful of Beaujolais rosés can also be found. 

It is one of life's injustices that this beautiful wine region is forever associated in most people's minds with Beaujolais Nouveau, a thin and dilute wine that has more to do with marketing than actual substance. However there is an Aladdin's trove of gloriously satisfying wines to be found amongst the 10 named village crus that form the spiritual home of the fresh, fruity Gamay grape.

From north to south, St Amour, Juliénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié (a cru since 1988), Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly are situated along the 15-mile strip of granite hills to the north of the region. They range from light, lively and fragrant to rich and velvety. While most Beaujolais should be drunk as soon as possible, the crus are infinitely more concentrated and have much more personality. They can be kept for up to 10 years, at which age the best examples resemble mature Pinot Noir.

At its best simple Beaujolais is fruity and eminently drinkable, especially when lightly-chilled in summer. Most Beaujolais displays a pear-drop edge to its soft red fruit, and often notes of banana and bubble gum too. These traits come largely from the vinification method (semi-carbonic maceration) rather than the Gamay grape itself, where a swift fermentation highlights the aromatics and fruit, while minimising the tannins. Amongst the top crus, however, there has been a return to more traditional Burgundian vinification methods, and even oak ageing.

There are five classifications of Beaujolais: Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Supérieur, Beaujolais Villages, and the 10 Beaujolais crus. As with the rest of Burgundy, the producer's name on the bottle is often the most important factor.

Recommended producers: Michel ChignardJean-Claude DesvignesOlivier Merlin, Alain Michaud.

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£11.95

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£129.00 Saving £14.40

Bottle 12 x 75cl 6cs

£81.48
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Jean-Marc Burgaud, Ready, but will keep,

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£14.00

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£151.20 Saving £16.80

Bottle 12 x 75cl 48cs

£99.96
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Domaine Metrat, Ready, but will keep,

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£15.25

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£164.64 Saving £18.36

Bottle 12 x 75cl 12cs

£111.12
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Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes, Ready, but will keep,

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£15.95

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£172.20 Saving £19.20

Bottle 12 x 75cl 19cs

£117.48
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Domaine Michel Chignard, Ready, but will keep,

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£16.95

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£126.48
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£17.00

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£126.96
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Chateau Thivin, Ready, but will keep,
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£17.50

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£189.00 Saving £21.00
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Bottle 12 x 75cl 1cs

£131.52
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Jean-Marc Burgaud, Ready, but will improve,

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£18.50

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Bottle 12 x 75cl 12cs

£119.88

Magnum

£39.95

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£153.78
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Jean-Marc Burgaud, Ready, but will improve,

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Chateau Thivin, Ready, but will keep,

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£18.50

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£199.80 Saving £22.20

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£140.52
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Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes, Ready, but will keep,

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£19.50

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£150.48
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£19.95

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£76.74
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Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes, Ready, but will keep,

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Olivier Merlin, Ready, but will keep,

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£20.50

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£158.52
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Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Ready, but will improve,

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£22.50

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 30cs

£88.26
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Olivier Merlin, Ready, but will improve,

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 13cs

£90.66

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£260.00
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Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Ready, but will keep,

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£23.00

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 110cs

£90.48
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Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Ready, but will improve,

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 17cs

£90.48
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Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Ready, but will keep,

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£23.50

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 158cs

£92.76
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Olivier Merlin, Ready, but will improve,

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£23.50

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 31cs

£76.74
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Bottle

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 122cs

£93.24
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Bottle

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 26cs

£92.76

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£115.00
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Olivier Merlin, Ready, but will improve,

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£25.00

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 71cs

£99.48

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£135.00
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Bottle

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 18cs

£103.98

Magnum

£52.00

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Magnum 3 x 150cl 6cs

£104.01
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Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Ready, but will improve,

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£272.25 Saving £30.25

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£110.76
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Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Ready, but will improve,

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£27.50

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 31cs

£110.76
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Domaine Metrat, Ready, but will keep,

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£35.00

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