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Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé! 2021 Edition

November 18, 2021 2 comments

Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé!

It is the third Thursday in November, and that means that the time has come to celebrate this year’s harvest – Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived at the wine store next to you (at least I hope it did, but if you want to get it, you might have to hurry as there is a good chance there is not much of it available).

I had been proactively keeping track of this celebration since this blog has started in 2010 – you can find the full retrospective here, mostly in chronological order. I keep saying that every year Beaujolais Nouveau gets better and better – and this year was no exception – I really enjoyed the 2021 Beaujolais in my glass.

Nevertheless, this year was an exception. Ever since I started writing about Beaujolais Nouveau, there was never a year when I only had one Beaujolais Nouveau wine – for example, last year I had 3 Beaujolais Nouveau wines and one Nouveau from Oregon. Most of the years I had at least 3, and a few years there were only two. But this year there was only one, and even that has limited availability and most likely will not last even until Thanksgiving, at least at the store where I bought it. Yep, you knew this already – supply chain issues. There might be more of the Beaujolais Nouveau showing up later on, but it is not very clear what and when.

Few more interesting Beaujolais Nouveau-related tidbits I never thought of before. First, according to the Burgundy Report, this year there were only 100 different Beaujolais Nouveau wines produced in France, which is significantly down from the last year’s number of 160. I was sure that there are many Beaujolais Nouveau wines produced in France, but I didn’t expect the number to be that high.

While searching for the information online, I came across the article where I learned about the Georges Duboeuf First Wine of the Harvest sweepstakes! Each cork of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau wine carries a unique number (who knew!), which can be entered on the First Wine of the Harvest website, and you will be instantly notified if you won something (I have no idea what you can win, and I won nothing). Apparently, this is not the first the sweepstakes are played, but if I wouldn’t read about it online I would still have no idea it existed.

Finally, let’s talk about the wine. According to the same Burgundy Report I mentioned before, Beaujolais regional Marketing board defined the vintage as “combative” – frost in April, and summer of rain and hail are not exactly the ideal grape-growing conditions. Relatively calm and cool September offer some relief, and while overall yield was significantly down, it was possible to preserve the quality of the harvest.

2021 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau AOP (12.5% ABV, $12.99) has a bright ruby color, a restrained nose of the freshly crushed fruit, and copious amounts of fresh raspberries and cherries on the palate with good acidity on the finish. While the wine is perfectly drinkable at room temperature (68°F), it is showing the best slightly chilled at around 58°F – 60°F.

Back in 2017, Georges Duboeuf started the “Artist Collector Series” of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine labels, where the public is given an opportunity to vote for the favorite design which will be then printed on the label. This year’s Beaujolais Nouveau label features work by the artist Felice Kite called “For The Love Of Flowers”.

Before I conclude my Beaujolais Nouveau 2021 report, I want to offer you a fun exercise – below is the collection of the Beaujolais Nouveau labels from 2010 until 2021 (note that I came across two distinct labels in 2015). I want you to choose a favorite (or 3, or 5) and share your opinion in the comments. I guarantee you that you will get no prize for participation in this exercise, but hopefully, it will be fun.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2021 has arrived, it is definitely worth your attention, it will be perfect with Thanksgiving turkey if you will be so inclined – but you can’t procrastinate if you want to try it. Cheers!

 

Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé! 2017 Edition

November 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 I know, it’s been [more than] a few days since the coveted words “Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé” had been heard again, now in 2017 – but my posting desires don’t always match the real life, hence my Beaujolaies Nouveu notes are arriving a bit late this year.

I definitely like Beaujolais Nouveau – not always the wine itself, but for sure, the idea. It is fun to celebrate new harvest, and that’s what Beaujolais Nouveau does – the wines are made from the freshly harvested grapes, and as such, Beaujolais Nouveau wines are not polished – they are fresh, they are rasp, they want to play and don’t want to have any bounds – the babies, what can you do.

Ever since this blog started, I made an effort to share my notes and thoughts about Beaujolais Nouveau wines – here you can find the posts from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The 2012 post has a bit more information about the history of the Beaujolais Nouveau and the celebration overall.

Thinking about the year 2017, I wonder if the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration is getting a little smaller? In the past years, many of the wineries around the world (California etc.) also produced their version of the Nouveau wines – I had not seen those in a few years. I didn’t see much of the promotion and event advertisement for the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration in the USA and around the world. It also seems that the wines were priced at a little less – I have a frame of reference as I always buy my Beaujolais Nouveau wines at one and the same store, so it seems that the prices were less by a dollar for all the different brands.

Over the past few years, I noticed that Georges Duboeuf wines are produced with different labels within the same vintage. 2017 was not an exception – I saw different labels on Internet, and I also saw different types of enclosures in the different markets. All 3 wines I tried were enclosed with some type of cork, natural or synthetic. But then I saw Georges Duboeuf wines enclosed with a screwtop, for instance, in Helsinki – you can see it here.

How were the wines, you ask? It seems that modern Beaujolais Nouveau wines keep increasing their extraction and overall mouthfeel – they really don’t feel all that “Nouveau”,  except the nose of the freshly crushed berries which is unmistakably present, but even that is getting more restrained and balanced. Definitely interesting wines, definitely drinkable, and dare I say it, possibly ageable past the traditional 9 months? Not that you need to age Beaujolais Nouveau, but it can be an interesting experiment.

Anyway, here are my notes:

2017 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Beaujolais AOC (13% ABV, $9.99)
C: dark garnet
N: freshly crushed berries, vanilla, eucalyptus, medium+ intensity
P: nice extraction, round mouthfeel, good weight, tart raspberries and blackberries on the palate, noticeable tannins in front of the mouth – most likely whole cluster fermentation?
V: 8-, totally unexpected and very impressive, this wine might age past traditional 9 months limit. One let down with this wine was synthetic cork which I’m not a fun of – oh well…
2017 Henry Fessy Beaujolais Nouveau Beaujolais AOC (13% ABV, $9.99)
C: dark ruby
N: raspberries, mint and rose petals
P: fresh raspberries, clean acidity, nicely round with a little bit of bite
V: 8-, I liked it even more than Duboeuf, this was the best of tasting.
2017 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau Beaujolais AOC (13% ABV, $10.99)
C: dark garnet
N: dark fruit, raspberries, blackberries, a distant whiff of the “young wine”, probably the least out of 3
P: tart raspberries, a bit astringent,
V: 7, needs time – this sounds strange with Beaujolais, but still
What do you think of Beaujolais Nouveau movement overall? Did you have Beaujolais Nouveau 2017? If you did, did you like them? Cheers!

Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé! 2016 Edition

November 18, 2016 11 comments

beaujolais nouveau 2016There is no shortage of the grape holidays nowadays – we celebrate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Chardonnay and many other grapes, sometimes even two per day. However, the oldest grape celebration in existence is Beaujolais Nouveau Day, celebrated on the third Thursday in November, which happened to be November 17th this year.

Of course, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is not so much of a grape celebration (which would be a Gamay day) but really the celebration of the new harvest, which was a very old tradition in the Beaujolais region, neighboring Burgundy, in France. Georges Duboeuf, a famous French wine merchant, is credited with making Beaujolais Nouveau Day an international event more than 30 years ago. What was just a local harvest festival became an international event, widely anticipated and celebrated around the world, from Tokyo to Moscow to New York.

While Beaujolais Nouveau Day is [still] often dismissed as a marketing gimmick, I’m always looking forward trying the new Beaujolais Nouveau wines, to be able to see their evolution. Ever since this blog started in 2010, Beaujolais Nouveau was always part of it – here you can find the old posts from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. In case you want to learn a bit more about the history of the celebration, please take a look at the post from 2012 – it contains more information than the other posts.

beaujolais nouveau

Here are the notes on the 2 wines I was able to taste this year:

2016 Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau (12% ABV, $9.99)
C: Dark ruby
N: fresh fruit, intense, ripe raspberries, herbal undertones, not over the top
P: elegant, fresh, red fruit notes, crunchy berries, excellent acidity
V: 8-, very enjoyable and elegant

2016 Paul Durdilly et Fils “Les Grandes Coasses” Beaujolais Nouveau (12.5% ABV, $9.99)
C: dark ruby
N: spicy cherries, mint, inviting
P: very limited amount of fruit, big contrast with the nose. For the Beaujolais Nouveau, might be even too restrained.
V: 7, leaving desiring more on the palate.

Talking about the two wines I tasted, I have to admit that I forgot to lightly chill them, which is recommended. This definitely had no effect on Georges Duboeuf wine, but it might be a culprit behind the limited expression of the second wine.

Before we part, I want to bring to your attention the label of the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Besides the fact that I personally like it, the important part if that for the first time ever, the label for this wine was chosen by the wine consumers voting for one of the 12 different designs submitted for the competition. I think the consumers chosen well, right?

For the past 3-4 years, I find Beaujolais Nouveau a very enjoyable wine, well worthy of oenophile’s attention. What do you think of Beaujolais Nouveau? Any favorites? Cheers!

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