Willie's World - Georges Duboeuf Hidden Gems in Burgundy

Table with bread board and several open bottles of wine next to a glass of wine

Georges Duboeuf: The man, the myth, and the legend— born in 1933 in Crêches-sur-Saône, near the village of Chaintré in the commune in Eastern France. He would eventually become one of the best spokesmen for the Beaujolais and Mâconnais region. Convinced that his region’s wines were more than simple, local wines, he took his show on the road. Duboeuf began his wine journey bicycling to restaurants touting wines from his and nearby villages. First, to nearby Lyon, one of France’s heralded gastronomic cities, and then to the rest of the world. By 1982, as he approached age 50, he launched his well-known international Nouveau campaign where the new vintage was celebrated in the great capitals of the world—New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris, and of course Lyon. “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé became the megaphone announcing the new vintage.

As a retailer, I was ready and willing to tout Beaujolais Nouveau. Yet, as quickly as this became the “thing to promote,” I was about to discover the “Cru Domaine” bottlings from Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Sales reps would excitedly bring Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin à Vent, etc., and present those wines. While the nouveau opened the doors to the Beaujolais region, the domaine bottlings exhibited a richness and staying power that my fellow retailers and restaurateurs found most rewarding. I recall how much Robert Parker touted the crus in one or two of his early Wine Advocates. I’ll never forget tasting through all the crus on sales presentations and learning the Gamay was more than just a pretty face.

Yes, Gamay, the grape the wine world takes for granted. While Nouveau and Beaujolais AOC are pure fruit in their most basic form, cru Beaujolais—there are 10 AOCs—often match the quality of Bourgogne and village wines from nearby Burgundy. These Georges Duboeuf domaine wines are produced in small quantities and are worthy of your attention. They are versatile food-matching choices and are enjoyable for family, friends, and neighbors.

Eventually, his greatest gift to the world is his introduction of small-production, high-quality producers. Don’t miss these wines, they are available now! Perhaps we should say, “Les Domaines de Georges Duboeuf est arrivé."

Here is a list of six excellent Georges Duboeuf Domaine offerings:

  • Georges Duboeuf Château des Capitans Julienas
    This château, owned by the Duboeuf family, is one of the most heralded properties in all of Beaujolais. The vines are over 50 years old and consistently turn out excellent wines. Made from 100% Gamay, this wine explodes with boysenberries, dried spices, and earthy notes. Bring it to a potluck dinner with family and friends and enjoy it with grilled foods, fried chicken, and a wide variety of party foods. Everyone will love drinking this one!
  • Georges Duboeuf de Javernière - Morgon
    The Duboeuf family has been producing this wine for more than four decades. I have enjoyed this wine through the years and found its richness attractive and satisfying. This vintage is packed with savory spices, earthy notes, chalkiness, and ripe fruit. Imagine serving it with the first cut from a prime rib. Have you ever imagined a Gamay to be this good? Yum!
  • Georges Duboeuf Domaine des Quatre Vents Fleurie
    The vines are over 50 years old. I have found this wine one of the best Fleuries. A family estate, this is a hand-crafted Gamay. This vintage offers pretty fruit and red berries, bright yet nicely framed and firm on the palate. While satisfying on the palate, it stays bright and zesty. Grill some boneless chicken thighs and enjoy the pairing.
  • Georges Duboeuf des Rosiers - Moulin-Á-Vent
    Talented owner Gérard Charvet, who took over running the estate after his father’s death in 1983, has pushed the wines to another level while respecting the history of the site. This vintage is juicy with loads of ripe fruit, excellent intensity, and firmness on the palate. Invite family, friends and neighbors, and serve it with a large pot of an old-fashioned beef stew. This is a 100% satisfying Gamay!
  • Georges Duboeuf Les Cheneviéres Mâcon-Villages
    The family have been winegrowers, father, and son, for over five generations. During my wine career, I have found that Mâcons are often the best wine values in the marketplace. This wine delivers green apples, chalky notes, and minerality. Its sharp and crisp finish makes it perfect with a plate of raw oysters, conversation, and a great backdrop for a laid-back moment.
  • Georges Duboeuf Emile Béranger Pouilly Fuissé
    For more than 200 years, the Béranger family has resided in Pouilly, a hamlet of Solutré; isn’t that a cool piece of history? This amazing Pouilly-Fuissé is a cut above what is seen in the marketplace. Redolent of ripe citrus and dried herbs, this is a subtle and elegant wine. Excellent weight on the palate. Try it with grilled, organic chicken thighs and wild morels and savor the moment.

Like many wines in Burgundy, these domain wines are limited. Buy them now, while they’re available!

Les Vins George Duboeuf continues to be larger-than-life. With the family staying true to its longtime grower and domain relationships, there is no stopping this producer’s success. As a lifelong fan of Duboeuf’s domain wines, I am thrilled to continue my exploration. Please give these wines a try and discover some of their undiscovered treasures. Like many wines in Burgundy, these domain wines are limited. Buy them now!

—Wilfred Wong