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Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 – Well Worth Your Attention

November 25, 2013 19 comments

It that time of the year again – the festive labels are lining up in front of the wine stores to remind us that we are entering into literally a six week of non-stop celebrations – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, friends, families, holiday parties. With its festive label, coming out every third Thursday in November, Beaujolais Nouveau signifies both arrival of the wines of the new harvest, and the arrival of the holidays.

Beaujolais Nouveau Arrived!

Beaujolais Nouveau Arrived!

The tradition of celebration of the new harvest with the wines of Beaujolais is well more than hundred years old. It became linked to the third Thursday of November in 1985, and then little by little, became a huge marketing success. That huge success became the worst enemy of the wine, with the producers starting to make soulless, insipid wines, void of any substance – and Beaujolais Nouveau phenomenon almost died at the very end of 20th century, with people simply ignoring the wines as only a marketing ploy.

Luckily, over the last few years, the situation started to change to the better, or I would even dare to say, to the “much better”. The wine behind festive labels started to show substance and character. I think Beaujolais Nouveau offers a very unique opportunity for the wine lovers, as you can taste every new vintage of the same wine, and compare – something which is rather difficult to do with many other wines – and you can see how the wine is changes year over year.

This year I had an opportunity to taste two different Beaujolais Nouveau wines – one from Georges Duboeuf, and another one from Jean Bererd & Fils, Domaine de la Madone – technically a Beaujolais Villages Nouveau, which is a different AOC designation, but for all intents and purposes it is produced in the same way as a regular Beaujolais Nouveau.

Can the wine be made better and better every year? Of course the question is way too generic to have an answer, but I can tell you that in case of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, the answer is “yes”. I was quite happy with the 2012 wine, but I think this year it is even better. The 2013 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau (12% ABV, $10.99) showed beautiful dark purple inky color in the glass. The nose was full of bright fresh fruit – ripe cherries, succulent raspberries, some violets. The palate came in quite restraint and structured, even firm – good fruit presence of the same dark cherries and ripe raspberries, but not over the top, showing of respectfully mature, concentrated wine with good acidity and medium finish. Depending on the serving temperature, the acidity was more of less noticeable, and overall the wine showed well balanced. Definitely recommended for your Thanksgiving table, perfectly attune to the Harvest celebration. Drinkability: 8-

The 2013 Jean Bererd & Fils Domaine de la Madone Beaujolais Villages Nouveau (13% ABV, $10.99) had very similar inky purple color in the glass. On the nose, it exhibited very similar notes of dark cherries and raspberries. And yes, the palate profile was very similar, but somehow, while the wine was perfectly drinkable and enjoyable, also showing firm structure, I was unable to find the right temperature when acidity was fully in check and harmony with the rest of the wine. Still, not a bad wine by all means. Drinkability: 7

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When it comes to Thanksgiving, which we are about to celebrate, my choice of wine tends to be all-American – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel – but nevertheless, I love opening the celebration with the glass of Beaujolais Nouveau – that clearly sets the mood to the Holidays, which have arrived.

Did you happen to taste Georges Duboeuf or any other Beaujolais Nouveau wines? What do you think? Happy Holidays and Cheers!

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