The best Beaujolais wine comes from the French wine region of Beaujolais. Specifically, look for Beaujolais AOC and Beaujolais Crus in the French wine section of your favorite wine store.
What Does It Taste Like?
Wine lovers enjoy these exceptional wines for a few reasons. It is a light-bodied red wine that is easy to drink, mainly if you are used to white wines. Typical fruit flavors in the wine include cranberries, raspberry flavors, and red cherry. With a high-end wine like Beaujolais cru, you may notice additional flavors like mushroom, smoky notes, and what some call forest floor notes.
The Best Beaujolais Wine Under $40
There is a wide range of Beaujolais Wine bottles available in the $20 to $40 range. These wines offer a great starting point for the Beaujolais category. For wine lovers with a larger budget, skip ahead to the wines over $40 section below to explore the higher wine quality tier.
1 Domaine Chapel Vayolette Juliénas 2020, $31
This red offers an exceptional combination of price and quality. This Beaujolais has a typical flavor profile featuring red fruit notes like red currant and some spices like pepper and cinnamon. The quality is even more impressive when you realize Domaine Chapel is relatively new – it has been in business since 2016.
2 Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2020, $36
Also known as Morgon Gamay, this Beaujolais wine has a light body, red cherry flavors, and strawberry. The wine is also notable for its low tannins.
3 Julien Sunier Régnié (Beaujolais, France), $37
This Beaujolais wine has earned an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 from Vivino. This Gamay wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume. 2020, 2018, and 2014 vintages have attracted mainly positive reviews. The flavor profile emphasizes red berry flavors like cranberry, strawberry, and raspberry. The dry red wine also has notable spicy notes.
4 Mommessin Beaujolais-Villages 2020, $20
This highly affordable wine has attracted very positive reviews. The 2020 vintage is an Editor’s Pick in Vivino. Mommessin is best known as a Burgundy wine producer, but they have successfully expanded into the Beaujolais wine region. The dry wine has a light body and low tannins. In addition to the typical red fruit notes in Beaujolais, this wine also offers black fruit notes like blackberry and blackcurrant.
The Best Beaujolais Wine Over $40
Compared to the first list, these wines are relatively expensive wines. Fortunately, these higher-quality wines are still relatively affordable compared to other French wine regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy.
1) Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes Morgon Javernieres Les Impenitents, $45
This Beaujolais wine has earned fantastic reviews from wine experts: an average score of 93 out of 100. This light red wine is a great pairing for white meats like chicken and pork made from the Gamay wine grape. The wine has 13% alcohol by volume. Best of all, this wine has considerable aging potential. It can be drunk today and age into the 2030s.
2) Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Passerelle 577, $65
This light red wine comes from the Morgon area in Beaujolais. The wine has earned fantastic wine scores from critics – an average score of 93 out of 100. Like the wine above, Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Passerelle has significant aging potential. The wine vines are more than 70 years old, which gives the wine a fantastic structure. Note that the wine also has powerful tannins, which some wine drinkers may not like.
3) Chateau des Bachelards Comtesse de Vazeilles Fleurie Le Clos, $76
This wine is produced from grapes grown in Fleurie, a cru wine appellation in the Beaujolais region. In French wines, cru (literally “growth”) is a designation applied to the country’s exceptional wines. Produced from the Gamay wine grape, the wine has an alcohol by volume of about 10%.
4) Domaine Labruyere Moulin-a-Vent Le Clos Monopole, $62
With a 94 score from Wine Enthusiast, this light red wine is a fantastic example of cru Beaujolais. This bottle of wine typically has 13-14.5% alcohol by volume. This full-bodied wine is noted for its tannins and black fruit notes. While this wine will pair with lighter meats, it can keep up with more decadent foods.
The Moulin-a-Vent appellation is located in the north of the Beaujolais region of France. The area is known for its pink granite soils, which help to produce highly concentrated wins. The wine region was awarded AOC status in 1936, recognizing the area’s long-standing excellence.
5) Philippe Pacalet Moulin-a-Vent, $80
Philippe Pacalet is best known for making Pinot Noir in Burgundy. Building on that expertise, he has created excellent Beaujolais. In your glass of wine, expect chocolate, blackberry, and even licorice notes. This wine has 13% alcohol by volume. The wine has earned a score of 90 out of 100 from wine experts.
6) Domaine Marcel Lapierre Julienas, $40
Produced in the Juliénas appellation, this quality wine has earned a score of 90 out of 100 from wine critics. Unlike other wines profiled in this section, this wine is comparatively light. If you have a wine tasting at home, try this wine with one of the full-bodied options mentioned above. The wine estate has 18 hectares of vineyards and has been in business for over 100 years.
7) Guy Breton Chiroubles, $41
No list of the best Beaujolais wine would be complete without including the Chiroubles appellation. The wine has earned scores of 90 to 92 from wine critics. The wine is known for its floral notes and red fruit notes. The wine producer is also known for avoiding sulfur, so it may be considered to be a natural wine.
The appellation is notable for a few reasons. Unlike most Beaujolais, Chiroubles vineyards are up to 1500 feet above sea level. The somewhat cooler climate in this appellation means you can expect to enjoy a lighter red wine. Winemaking in the region dates back to the Middle Ages when Benedictine monks were recorded cultivating wine grapes.
Food Pairings For The Best Beaujolais Wine
These French wines (in contrast to full-bodied French wine) are suitable for a range of food, including turkey, ham, tuna, salmon, and sushi. Beaujolais wine is a great pairing choice if you like a salad with chicken, bacon and goat cheese ingredients (so you might want to know what wine goes best with chicken salad).
For a truly French experience, try some fantastic food from France like terrines and patés with your next glass of Beaujolais. The best Beaujolais wine also goes well with cheeses like feta, Swiss cheese, camembert, and brie.
Which Grape Varieties Are Used In Beaujolais Wine?
Red Beaujolais wine is typically made from a single grape variety – Gamay noir. The region’s leading white wine variety, Beaujolais blanc, is made from a few wine grape varieties such as chardonnay or aligoté.
What Makes The Beaujolais Region Special?
Now that you know about the various styles of wine famous in Beaujolais let’s take a closer look at this region. You will see various wine locations when you go on wine tours in Beaujolais village. Wine travel to Beaujolais is an idyllic country escape for those who enjoy a charming country house.
This winery stands out as Beaujolais-Villages wines as a place to visit. The family-owned organic winery offers visitors a tour and wine tasting. The winery has 14 acres of vineyards (i.e., 6 hectares) where they produce red, white, and pink wines. Visitors can book a rural cottage with views over vineyards. It’s a great place to visit to see how a smaller-scale organic wine producer produces excellent quality wines.
Côte de Brouilly
In addition to unique family-run wineries, the wine region has an exciting appellation called Côte de Brouilly. Located at Mount Brouilly, wines from this part of Beaujolais are noted for their blackberry fruit flavors and pepper notes. Blue stone and granite soils are most common in this area.
Your first introduction to the delicious wines of Beaujolais may have started with Beaujolais Nouveau. These famous wines are released annually in November and are made to be enjoyed right away. Unlike Cru Beaujolais wines, Beaujolais Nouveau wines are highly affordable. Since these popular wines are released annually close to the end of the year, they make great gifts for wine lovers.
Best Beaujolais Wine In Summary
When you seek out the best Beaujolais wine, there are three options to consider. Wine drinkers who love fruit-forward wines should start with a bottle of Beaujolais nouveau. These affordable wines, typically released in November, are ready to drink immediately. The second option is to look for the “The Best Beaujolais Wine Under $40” wine recommendations. Those wines offer an excellent combination of wine value. Finally, dedicated Beaujolais enthusiasts should focus exclusively on the cru Beaujolais. There are 10 Crus of Beaujolais (i.e. Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-Á-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Réginé, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly) which all make some of the best Gamay wine on the market for those who can afford top tier prices.