My second Nouveau of the season, following on from the delicious Georges DuBœf on release night. This one is medium purple, a touch less opaque that the previous. The nose has pronounced aromas of grape bubble gum, banana, red cherry candy (red licorice) and a touch of spice. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and very low tannins. Medium (-) bodied, I get flavors of grape bubble gum, grape jelly, cherry candy, and red licorice. It is a bit one-dimensional compared to the previous bottle. The finish is short but the tartness rolls on for a while. Not my favorite. 84 points and for $12, 2 stars. Drink now. Salut….
The third Thursday in November is an auspicious day for Beaujolais- the official release of the year’s Nouveau happens around the world at the same time. It started as a marketing ploy to get people to buy the relatively cheap, easygoing wine. Fresh out of stainless steel tanks where it was Carbonically Macerated, this alternative method of producing wine from the Gamay grape makes for unique flavors and textures. Georges DuBœf invented the craze so it seemed fitting that I try his $12 effort first.
Deep purple in the glass with watery legs (13% ABV). The nose is classic Nouveau/Carbonic. Bright grapey aromas, purple bubble gum, zingy cherries, red currants and red licorice. The palate is dry with medium acidity and very low tannins, if any. The red fruit and candy are very present whilst the grapey component is not as prominent. The wine is mouthwatering on the back end and has a medium (-) body. The length of the finish is shortish but I am really enjoying the freshness and vibrancy that is has to offer. Keep in mind this wine is meant for immediate consumption, it should keep for a year or so. I like it for what it is and would pair it with roasted chicken, grilled swordfish or even a pasta dish with red sauce. 90 points makes it a 5 star effort. Go and get a bottle if you have never tried this style of wine- unique! Salut….
The Gamay grape is traditionally made into wine using the carbonic maceration method in the Beaujolais region of France. This wine is a deep purple color with medium intensity aromas of blueberry, blackberry, dried flowers, orange peel, cherry bubble gum and perhaps a touch of banana. The palate is dry with crisp tannins and medium (-) acidity. I was not expecting the tannic grip to be so forthright. I get flavors of blackberry, blueberry and açaí berry with a faint hint of charred oak and some orange peel. Oak influence? A full-bodied and full-throttle expression of this usually benign grape has really thrown me as I am pairing it with a slow-cooked Eye of Round Roast, which is a low fat cut of meat. I would prefer to pair this wine in its youth with a fattier cut of meat like Ribeye, Leg of Lamb or grilled Goat. The finish is quite decent in length, adding to the complexity and depth of this wine. For $25 you are getting a cru-level bottle that has decent cellaring capacity and gets 91 points from me. 5 stars- drink till 2027. Salut….
This Gamay is medium Ruby in the glass with some funk on the nose alongside red currants and cranberry. The palate is very tart and acidic with red fruits comprising red cherry, currants and pomegranate. Beaujolais wines typically have no discernible backbone of tannins as they rarely see much wood treatment or extended maceration with the skins but this one has me perplexed as I do sense some astringency on the gums and some potential tannic grip. At three years of age it’s already at peak and should be drunk sooner rather than later- preferably chilled and sitting on a sidewalk in Paris. I would pair this with salmon on the grill, roasted chicken or eggplant parmigiana. 88 points for this $14 effort make it a four-star wine. Salut….
I’m surprised at how inky and dark purple this Gamay is in the glass. The nose is very rich with raspberry, strawberry pie and cranberry. It’s reminding me of drinking wine on the Champs Elysee. The palate is red fruit driven and has a fair dose of acidity. Raspberries dominate the mid palate but the acidity starts to overtake on the decent length finish. It’s very satisfying and mid weight. I am pairing it with Chicken Pot pie and salad, should do the trick. This one is meant to be drunk young so slightly chill a bottle and get cracking. 88 points from me and for $14 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Once a year (the third Thursday in November to be precise) the French release the Beaujolais Nouveau. Super bright shade of purple, totally opaque. The nose is very fruity- black cherries, blackcurrants, cherry cola and sassafras. The palate is lively with lots of purple fruit, gobs of acidity and some licorice notes. Primal, this wine is meant to be drunk right away, yet it seems to have a bit of stuffing in there that may allow it to cellar for a year or two. There’s a sour cherry note that carries this wine through to the medium length finish. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The Nouveau movement started as a marketing ploy, got very popular in the 80’s and waned a bit of late. It’s a fun, basic wine that is nearly perfect for Thanksgiving and is easy to drink. Gamay based wines are served by the bucketload in the bistros of Paris, normally chilled ever so slightly they make a great red for a hot summers lunch. This one will fill that role nicely in the coming 12 months. 87 points. $13 and 3 stars. This brand changes the label every year, cool stuff. Salut….
My Virtual Wine Tasting Company is a group of friends who taste wines every two weeks or so. The goal for me is to introduce new varietals and regions to them and try to educate as best I can with my knowledge and experience. At the #7 tasting I presented the Gamay grape. No one realized that Beaujolais wines were made from this grape. We discussed regular maceration versus cold maceration and finally I talked about Carbonic Maceration used to produce the Nouveau Beaujolais. I pre-empted the tasting with a few pointers on Gamay wines- they are very low in tannins and acidity, do not generally cellar past 6 years for Cru wines and are drunk in abundance in the French Bistros. It is a lively, very fruity wine that is extremely easy to drink. Some can present decent complexity, most are basic wines. I chose this Cru that has a bit of age on it and is drinking nicely now. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be, an elegant introduction to the varietal. Some loved it, others hated it. Each to his own.
Gamy, cranberry, pepper, black cherry, blueberry and mocha were all mentioned by the tasters. The wine has little tannic grip but one can sense a tinge of acidity. Most expected a sweet wine, but I mentioned that the Gamay grape is very fruity, hence the expectation once they sniffed. This wine gets 89 points from me, the only detractor being it’s cellaring potential. I really liked it and will buy more at the $22 price point. It gets 4 stars from me. Drink now. Salut….
Bright purple and see through, typical for the Gamay grape. On the nose it shows blueberry, spice box, violets and bramble. The palate is very fresh and echoes the blue theme. Nice, rounded acidity braces the mouth and the fruit transitions nicely to the mid palate. There’s a definitive spice i’m getting- perhaps cloves? It’s very interesting. The wine feels like it may have a touch of tannic grip, which is good for this style- it allows brief to mid term cellaring. The finish is decent in length with more blueberries and a dusty component. It reminds me a little of Rioja on the back end. Quite unique. For $19 and 90 points, this Beaujolais Cru gets 4 stars. A nice gift from my cousins. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city. Drinking wine in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled. Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape. Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity. I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.
This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through. It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets. On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings. There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes. There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more. The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish. The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits. The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91. I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine. Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie. Salut….