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Side-by-side blind tasting: Pierre-Marie Chermette and Jean-Paul Brun L’ancien Beaujolais Nouveau 2020


Synopsis, Our Opinion: We would recommend both of these wines, but the Jean-Paul Brun L’ancien has set the bar high and it’s clearly our
all-time favorite Beaujolais Nouveau.

Producer/Winery:
Pierre-Marie Chermette; Saint Verand, France
Jean-Paul Brun; Charnay, France.

Grape Variety: Gamay.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Beaujolais; Burgundy, France.

Vintage: 2020

Price: (Both with a 10% case discount.)
Pierre-Marie Chermette $14.40
Jean-Paul Brun L’ancien $16.20

Purchased From: The Caviste Wine Shop; Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Paired With: Chicken cordon bleu, smashed potatoes and corn on the cob.

Tasting:

    Note: Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France and gets its easy drinkability because its made using a winemaking process called carbonic maceration or whole-berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the grapes and produces wines light in body and almost entirely free of tannins, but the wines do not age well. This year we purchased Nouveau made by two different producers and we couldn’t resist doing another blind side-by-side tasting. See our 2019 tasting of three Beaujolais Nouveau’s

    Both bottles were chilled to about 60 degrees and opened one-hour before drinking. Right off the bat there was a big difference in the two wines. The Jean-Paul Brun had a natural 45mm cork and the Pierre-Marie Chermette had a plastic 45mm cork. However this is a bigger difference than one might imagine. The Jean-Paul Brun bottle we opened for this tasting was severely corked, and simply had to be poured down the sink, but wait there is more. Each fall we buy a case (12 bottles) of each Beaujolais Nouveau the Caviste wine shop carries. So far this year we have opened five of the 12 bottles of the Jean-Paul Brun and two have been corked and were undrinkable.

    As we poured the wine in the glass they were both equally clear, ruby color with the same color rim. Both had damp earth, wet wood and tart cherry aromas, but that’s about where the similarity ended.

    Griottes Pierre-Marie Chermette:
    Right from the first sip this wine was lighter, fresher and the mouthfeel was much more pungent. Although the favors were thin they were pleasant and quite diverse with tart cherry dominating and red current filling in and making quite a nice combination. The greatest difference between the two wines was the gobs of bright acidity that dominated all the other tastes in this wine.

    Jean-Paul Brun L’ancien:
    As we have found in the past this wine had complex flavors of tart cherry, raspberry and boysenberry. It had a rustic richness that really made you take notice. In addition, when drinking these wines side-by-side it was very apparent that this wine was VERY WELL BALANCED and had none of the exasperating acidity found in the Pierre-Marie Chermette.

Gamay grapes ready for harvest
Photo from Wikipedia.

Comments: See also our reviews of other: Pierre-Marie Chermette wines and Jean-Paul Brun wines.

Although quite different we liked both of these Beaujolais Nouveau wines and will purchase both of them again next year if their available. However we do think the Jean-Paul Brun L’ancien is very special Beaujolais Nouveau. In the end we would recommend both of these wines, but the Jean-Paul Brun L’ancien has set the bar high and it’s clearly our all-time favorite Beaujolais Nouveau.