Crushing on Fleurie
How many songs have been written about the carefree and fun-filled nature of summertime? School’s out forever, the fish are jumping and that Summer fling didn’t mean a thing, but, ohhh… those Summer nighhhhhhhiiiiiiiiights! Should I tell you more, tell you more? Well, what I can tell you about is a red wine that perfectly captures the flirty, fun spirit of summer. Get ready to have a summer crush with a wine named Fleurie.
Fleurie is actually the name of a village in the Beaujolais region of southern Burgundy. It is also one of ten Cru Beaujolais which produce wines that have unfortunately had their name dragged down by association with a very well-known wine style called Beaujolais Nouveau. Nouveau wines are made with the same grape, Gamay, but are grown in the vineyards that produce much less complex wines and are produced in very different process in order to rush a more palatable wine available every November. The “real” Beaujolais are the village and, especially, cru level ones that the French are much more likely to be caught drinking.
Some of my favorite wine writers often use the word “joyous” to describe the fruity and often floral nature of Fleurie wines. These are dry wines with brightness and energy but light in weight and low in tannin. This makes them ideal candidates to slightly chill and drink with almost anything you might be grilling, especially, pork, chicken, seafood, burgers, sausage, hot dogs or vegetables. I don’t want to give the impression that Fleurie is a wine you have to say goodbye to once Summer ends. Many cru Beaujolais can age easily for 3-5 years or more and the some exhibit some notes of herbs and mineral that allow them to be favorably compared to their more expensive Burgundy cousin, Pinot Noir.
Central Market has a great selection of Beaujolais including at least three Fleurie from high quality, small family producers that you won’t find at other Texas retailers.