The two wines were opened within 30 seconds of each other and tasted both warm and chilled. About a half hour in the fridge put just the right amount of chill on it to bring out the flavors.
The color is nearly identical. The Jadot looks just a hair younger, with more purplish color on the edges.
Jadot: Nose is subdued, earthy. Mild aroma of black cherry and maybe mushroom or some other earthy element. In the mouth it exudes sour cherry flavor; more unripe than ripe. Tart acidity. Mild touch of earth. The finish reminds me of a black cherry that isn’t quite ripe yet. With such a cherry, I’d wait a few days until it gets darker and bit softer; with this wine, I’d wait another six months.
Duboeuf: Fragrant, flowery perfume. Not really a fruity aroma, more like flowers and maybe a touch of eucalyptus. Almost-ripe red cherry flavor in the mouth, with tart acidity. Finish is a little shorter than the Jadot.
Verdict: no clear winner. At this moment, the Duboeuf may be just a hint more developed, and closer to ripe. Neither is ready to drink, in my opinion. So what have we learned from this smackdown? That 2005 may very well be as superlative a vintage in Beaujolais as the growers were telling us, in regard to concentration, ripeness, and longevity of the wines. I’d like to do another tasting of both wines toward the end of this year — about the same time Nouveau arrives. In the meantime, drink up Beau-Villages from 2004, and scarf up any 2003s that may still be lingering in the discount bins.