2013 Arnaud Briday Julienas “Domaine des Chers” V.V., $15.99

Now that Beaujolais Nouveau season is a distant memory (really? was it only a six weeks ago?), it's time to get serious about Beaujolais. We usually carry an extensive selection, from the darker, fuller age-worthy northern villages such as Moulin-a-Vent and Morgon to the more delicate Crus of Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly farther south. My pick, however, is from the village of Julienas, in between those two extremes. It splits the difference stylistically, and I like its mid-weight status. From 50 to 80 year old vines, this version exhibits appealing aromas of fresh red fruits and delicate spice, and the flavors explode on the palate like succulent cranberries and red currants. The words "fleshy" and "juicy" come to mind, not to mention "fun."

OK, maybe there's a more personal reason I gravitate toward Julienas among the great Crus. I've been lost more than once on the winding confusingly-marked back roads of Beaujolais, but always seemed to end up in the town of Julienas, where I stayed for a few days and drank the local wine. It's there where I was found.