Beaujolais Nouveau 2010 – Live Blog
What’s up with the “live blog”? No, I don’t plan to show the live recording in the Gary V. style (for those unfamiliar with Gary V. – please go to the Wine Library TV site, I promise you will enjoy it). For all of my posts so far, I don’t write them at the same time as I taste the wine or visiting the restaurant. Yes, I might take some notes, but all of the writing is still done later on, mostly based on the memory (yes, I make an effort to memorize the experience).
However, today is a special day for many wine lovers across the globe. In the 1970s, the tradition started in France, in the appellation called Beaujolais, to celebrate the first wine produced from the harvest of the same year. What was French national event in the 1970s, now became a world-wide celebration, which always takes place on the third Thursday in November, and today is the day.
Beaujolais red wines are made from the grape called Gamay, and the wines are produced in the style of the neighboring Burgundy (which are made from Pinot Noir), but typically are lighter and don’t age that well.
When it comes to the Beaujolais Nouveau, this wine is made in 6 weeks after the harvest, so it is really light and fruity wine which is not supposed to age (should be consumed by May of the following year). Also, similar to the Pinot Noir wines, Beaujolais wines should be served slightly chilled (about 55F).
Therefore, considering such a special day, I’m writing this blog as I actually try the wines, starting with opening of the bottles – and this is why I called this blog “live”. I can also tell you that last year, even before I tried the wines from 2009, I read somewhere that they supposed to be very good wines, so I was already influenced as I was trying the wines (read my previous post if you are curious why is that). This year, I have no expectations whatsoever, except the knowledge that these are young wines and they will taste accordingly to the very young age.
I decided to try Beaujolais Nouveau from two very famous French producers – Georges Duboeuf and Joseph Drouhin. First producer, Joseph Drouhin used regular cork, and Duboeuf used synthetic one, both corks specifically imprinted for 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau. From the moment the bottles opened, Joseph Drouhin exhibited tremendous aroma of a fresh grape coming strongly right from the bottle, and for Duboeuf the same aroma was also noticeable, but less prominent. From here on, lets diverge and talk about two wines separately.
Georges Duboeuf. Beautiful very intense dark garnet color. Nose is very solid, doesn’t have any off flavors which are common with very young wines. Cherries and raspberries are noticeable on the nose. With the first sip comes first surprise – the wine has very noticeable tannins. I don’t remember ever tasting the tannins in the Beaujolais Nouveau wines – wonder if this is the style of Duboeuf, but in any case that was a surprise – rather good on, however. In addition to the cherries I can pick up some plums on the palate, all complimented by good acidity. This wine can be perfectly enjoyed by itself, but will also also work very nicely with the wide range of lighter dishes or mild cheese. Considering the price of about $10 per bottle, this wine has great QPR.
Joseph Drouhin. The color is nearly identical – nice deep garnet. Nose is similar to Duboeuf, again without any off flavors. In addition to cherries I would say that there is a hint of strawberries, and again to my surprise, I would probably add a hint of white pepper to that bouquet, which is not something I would typically associate with Gamay grape. On the palate, I would dare to say that this wine has more flavor. I practically don’t pickup any tannins, but instead there is a great amount of nice supple fruit (again, cherries, plums, raspberries) and very refreshing acidity – oops, and now tannins are coming in approximately 30-40 seconds after the sip of wine. Wow! If the first wine was good, this one is even better – and again, amazing QPR at $11/bottle.
Well, what can I tell you? There is general sentiment among wine industry professionals that quality of the wines is becoming better and better every year. Tasting these two wines today, I can not agree more. I clearly remember a number of years ago tasting Beaujolais Nouveau with only one after thought – “please, I don’t want to ever touch this wine again, and… is it okay to pour the rest of this bottle down the drain?”. My experience this year is totally different. This wines are excellent, and if you didn’t do it yet, you have to go and buy a few bottles… and enjoy! In terms of drinkability, I would rate Duboeuf at 8-, and Drouhin at 8. And, yes, I know it is late, but I need another glass…