- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Georges DuBoeuf, Beaujolais-Villages, 2003, $10

This bright, lively red, made from plump gamay grapes grown in last year’s record-setting European summer heat, is just beginning to show up on store shelves.

It tastes of fresh strawberries and sweet spice and is one of he finest Beaujolais-Villages wines I have ever tasted. It is perfect for warm-weather sipping and well worth buying by the case.

Beaujolais at its best is a vivacious, sprightly wine, full of fruity charm. Too often, though, the wines seem either sappy, with an odd banana-like aroma, or vinegary, both the result of the grapes being so under-ripe that the winemaker was compelled to add sugar.

Ripeness, however, was not a problem in 2003, as the growers from whom Georges DuBoeuf purchases fruit were able to harvest fully mature, succulent grapes. The result is a wine fairly bursting with youthful personality and animated cheer.

Beaujolais is a super picnic wine, as it goes wonderfully with all sorts of cold meats and salads. Although red, it’s at its best when slightly chilled. The one drawback is that time subdues its allure. This wine should drink well for the next year, but it will never taste better than it does right now.

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