Repeat after us, bo-jah-lay noo-vo. If you’re new to the wine world, you’re in for a treat. If you’ve been sipping Beaujolais Nouveau for years, hang tight for this year’s picks.
So, what is it? Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine produced from the gamay grape and is fermented in whole grape clusters. It is not meant to be aged and should be enjoyed the same vintage after its 8-week production. In other words, the grapes are picked, the juice is fermented, it’s bottled, then you drink it fresh after its 2-month production timeline.
Atanas Nechkov, one of our resident wine Somms, gave a little history on the vino.
“The story of Beaujolais Nouveau started more than 70 years ago. In 1951 a minor change to the AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée, a French certification granted by the government) regulations permitted the distribution of Beaujolais wines as early as November 15th, as opposed to the previous date of December 15th. Georges Duboeuf, a talented Beaujolais producer and négociant, rushed the freshly fermented new Beaujolais to Paris where it was an immediate hit. Within a few years Beaujolais Nouveau became a national event in France. “Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” was and still is the slogan. Europe and the rest of the world were conquered by the Beaujolais Nouveau infatuation shortly afterwards. The date of the release of Beaujolais Nouveau as the third Thursday in November was established in 1985.”
Beaujolais Nouveau has become a seasonal ritual, not only because it is the first wine of the vintage but because of its palatability and association with the holidays.
Following hot and sunny growing season conditions were set for an early-ripening vintage. This means the grapes hit optimum maturity before harvesting. Harvesting in the Beaujolais region took place under extremely favorable conditions, dry, windy and sunny weather, with cool nights.
The first wines of 2018 will be available Thursday November 15th at an ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store . The 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau, classified as ‘exceptional,’ exhibit garnet color and typical-for-the-style aromas and flavors of raspberry, strawberry and violet, but also some dark berry fruit and black cherry this year. Atanas even said that “2018 is a great vintage in Beaujolais that many compare to the memorable 2009.” The very dry and warm weather of 2009’s August promoted maturity in the thin-skinned gamay grapes.
Beaujolais Nouveau is not a wine to sniff, swirl and contemplate too much – rather a light-hearted wine to enjoy in a relaxed way. Serve it slightly chilled as aperitif or to complement variety of dishes like grilled meats, pastas and roasted pork and poultry. It is the perfect complement to the holiday turkey meal.
The following two Beaujolais Nouveau 2018 will be available at most ABC Fine Wine & Spirits stores Thursday, Nov. 15:
Georges Duboeuf $10.99
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