Wine lovers know that if it is the 3rd Thursday in November, it must be time for celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau.
Nouveau is a beautifully fresh young wine made from the Gamay grape varietal and is harvested, crushed and bottled without any barrel fermentation. Grown in the Burgundy region of France, vintners will produce over 65 million bottles that will be sold in the next few months around the world. The first new wine of the 2019 harvest and only a few weeks old, the grapes are handpicked and go through the process of carbonic maceration, creating a light bodied, fruity vibrant wine with a low tannin structure.
The growing conditions for the 2019 vintage were quite challenging for vintners in the region. A cold Winter was followed by Spring frost and an unusual heat wave immediately following. Worse news was soon to follow as the United States imposed a 25% tariff on the incoming wines before they reached their destination. Prices for this year’s vintage are definitely higher across the board, with importers taking the brunt of the financial hit.
Having sampled wines from 3 different producers, here are my short tasting notes:
2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau………. Light cherry, raspberry fruit, touch of herbs and a bit acidic.
2019 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau……….. Deep dark raspberry, bing cherry, red licorice, smoke and a touch of spice. Driest of the 3 tasted, overall favorite.
2019 Albert Bichot Beaujolais Nouveau……….. Fresh cherry, strawberry and a bit of dried cranberry. Floral with hints of white pepper, touch acidic.
The Catch 22 is that I usually recommend pairing these wines with your Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings. This year’s Beaujolais are quite drinkable even though past vintages were more satisfying. You can join the celebration and purchase a bottle of this year’s Beaujolais offerings or, as an alternative, grab a bottle of Gamay from the Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Brouilly or Fleurie regions of Burgundy. A bit more refined, a little less fruity and guaranteed to enhance your holiday with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving to our readers from us here at Winetime.