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The 2017 release of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is the 35th in America, which is quite impressive for a European wine.  This producer, for the most part, put this wine on the map by massively promoting it decades ago.  It is now on the radar of most every wine retailer in the United States.  Americans drink over one million bottles of this young and festive wine each year.

The story behind the origins of Beaujolais Nouveau begins in France in the early 1800s.  Beaujolais grape-growers would celebrate each year’s harvest by drinking some of the young wine that was just made.  The wine was then meant only for local consumption.  It wasn’t until World World II, after the Beaujolais AOC was established, that the wine could officially be sold and distributed on December 15th of each year.  In 1951, the release date of the wine was moved forward to November 15th, and then finally in 1985, the current law was amended to release the wine on the third Thursday of November each year, just in time for a pre-Thanksgiving weekend of sales in the United States.  It is customary to export and distribute the wine prior to this day so that retailers can have the wine available for purchase by the start of the official business day.

Beaujolais nouveau (essentially “new Beaujolais”) is made from Gamay, a thin-skinned and higher acid grape that is similar to Pinot Noir, and the wine itself undergoes carbonic maceration.  Although this sounds like a fancy & scientific wine term, it is more simply described as whole cluster fermentation wherein each individual berry becomes a little ball of wine which is then pressed to release juice that is low in tannins yet fruit-forward.

For starters, it pours a beautiful, brilliant and bright-ruby color.  The nose is vibrant and perfumed with bubblegum and crushed berries.  The palate, dry and more tannic than I expected, is tart and juicy with a lingering note of what I can only describe as White Zinfandel.  Fruity, in a word.

This screams for food, and will pair well with roasted turkey and cranberry sauce.  For only $7.99 per bottle, I would have a bottle on the rack for this Thursday to appease the Old-World wine drinkers.  While it’s not a deliciously yummy juice that you’d want to cozy up to a glass of, it’s a festive, fun, and easy-drinking wine that won’t overshadow the main event.

You’re going to want to stop by Jax and grab a bottle of 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau before it’s all gone.  Because of two hail storms this past July, this vintage was 80% lighter than normal. It’s the smallest harvest since 1945, and the grapes that made it to harvest were small and ripe.  What little Beaujolais Nouveau that was produced is arguably better than that of past vintages.

I’ve taken a moment to highlight the current selection of Beaujolais Nouveau that we currently offer at Jax, as well as recommended food pairings for each.  All are from the 2017 vintage.

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau- $7.99

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau- $7.99

Zesty and brilliantly colored, this wine features an aromatic nose of black fruits, bubblegum, and peach skin.  The finish is light and chewy.

I would pair this wine with anything that has cranberry sauce on it, firm cheeses like cheddar and Pecorino, and cocktail meatballs.

 

Domaine Pral Beaujolais Nouveau- $12.99

Domaine Pral Beaujolais Nouveau- $11.99

A little more subtle and elegant when compared to the Georges Duboeuf, this wine is balanced and satisfying.  A nose of ripe red cherries and peach skins leads to a zesty and fruit-forward palate.

I would choose slightly more complex dishes to pair with this wine, such herb-roasted turkey stuffed with dressing and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with roasted almonds.

 

Domaine Pral Beaujolais Nouveau Rose’- $12.99

Domaine Pral Beaujolais Nouveau Rose’- $11.99

Rose’ is best when served young and fruity, and so a Beaujolais Nouveau version is a fantastic idea.  This wine has a nose of ripe summer berries such as strawberry and raspberry.  The palate is tart and juicy, somewhat like a very dry White Zinfandel.

I would pair this with a variety of appetizers and salads.  This wine would go well with a cheese board or anything that’s got a little bit of a kick to it.  Stop by Jax Fine Wine and Spirits today!

 

What is your opinion?