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Château Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Supérieur ‘Déjeuner à la Campagne en 1920’ 2021

Château Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Supérieur ‘Déjeuner à la Campagne en 1920’ 2021

This week’s Weekend Wine hails from a rarely visited corner of Bordeaux, Galgon. If that does not ring any bells with you, fear not; you have not overlooked some long-lost commune of the Médoc peninsula, squeezed unseen – à la Platform 9¾ – between St Julien and Pauillac. Galgon is located beyond the better-known communes of the right bank, the far side of Libourne and the vineyards of Fronsac. That means clay and limestone soils, and a favouring for Merlot over the Cabernets. Although, to be frank, that much you could probably have guessed.

The intrigue in this cuvée is not the varieties that make up the blend though, nor is it the type of soil. What drew me to this wine was the inspiration behind the cuvée and the style of the finished blend, which might just take your Bordeaux preconceptions – about tannins, or oak, or just how many years you have to wait before a wine is ready to drink – and throw them out of the window.

To get to grips with this wine we first need a little background detail. Vignobles Jalousie Beaulieu is a family-owned domaine, the history of which can be traced back to the early 20th century when the vineyard was acquired, in 1910, by Pierre Auguste Duporge. The property has since been passed down through several generations and is currently in the hands of the fifth and six, respectively Philippe and Pierre Person. The family produce a broad range of wines, under several different labels, and by and large they all follow a traditional Bordeaux template. So far, so Bordeaux.

Château Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Supérieur Déjeuner à la Campagne en 1920 2021

The exception to this rule is this newly introduced cuvée, Déjeuner à la Campagne 1920. I could describe the style of the wine to you (in fact my job description tells me I have to, so there is a tasting note further down the page) but I have heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words (that would be some tasting note) and accordingly I think the image on the label of this cuvée gives a good idea of what to expect in the bottle. Well, it did me, anyway.

The label is in fact an old family photograph, taken during a Duporge family picnic in 1920. Pictured are François Ferrand Duporge (1873 – 1943), the great great grandfather of Pierre Person, his wife Marie, and their ten-year-old son Pierre Jean Henri Duporge (1910 – 1982), Pierre Person’s great grandfather. It is a simple yet evocative picture, telling of the countryside, of family life, and wine’s place in it. It was a time of peace, although Europe still simmered from the effects of the Great War which had ended just two years earlier. Sadly, war was to return to the region a second time. Let’s hope there isn’t a third.

The image on the label of the 2021 ‘Déjeuner à la Campagne 1920’ from Château Jalousie Beaulieu seems to me to perfectly embody the style of wine within the bottle. A blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec, it saw a cool pre-fermentation soak for colour, followed by fermentation in stainless steel and a maceration lasting twenty days, although from the very low-key role played by the tannins on the palate I would have guessed it had seen a much shorter maceration. In the glass it displays a glossy cherry-red hue at the rim. The nose is rich in fruit, with blackberry and red cherry to the fore, with twists of black liquorice and vanilla. There follows a supple palate, filled with juicy fruit mirroring the nose, sweet and set in a structure of softly grained tannins, giving it a nice grip, with fresh acidity. This combination of supple, charming and sweet fruit set in a dry frame, long and fresh in the finish, makes for a delicious style of easy-drinking Bordeaux. It would, of course, be prefect for déjeuner à la campagne. The alcohol declared on the label is 13%. 91/100 (14/11/22)

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