Given that today is Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to cover what has become an annual tradition in the United States this time of year. The release of the new Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of each November. While there are critics who say anything from it is too soon for the wine to be ready to it gives ‘real’ age-worthy Beaujolais a bad name, I think there’s a lot of great things about this wine and this tradition. It is also one of the first wines I discovered ‘on my own’, read that I identified with as a tasty, quality red wine that had something special about it. That something special as we all know is carbonic maceration. In this technique, the grapes are fermented in a CO2-rich environment, causing the process to happen while they are still mostly whole. Also important to note is that there is no yeast involved in this method at all. Gamay lends itself beautifully to this process, and I have enjoyed this wine every year. It results in light, ready-to-drink and easily palatable wines that are delicious and fresh, but don’t have the structure to age. That’s just fine with me. I have already filled my rack with fine age-worthy wines and sometimes I don’t know what to drink because there’s too many I can’t part with. I have come a long way since I first discovered this wine, and it is just as rewarding and fresh today in the 2012. I love a fine aged Beaujolais as well but I think there’s a place for this wine and millions of others agree!
It has a bright ruby color of medium light intensity, and on the nose and palette, smoky and spicy black and red fruit aromas and flavors dominate. Often, ‘bugglegum’ is used to decribe the flavor as well. Tannins are present, but different than you might be used to (less skin contact in this process, and a different method altogether), and its got a refreshing acidity and fruit-forwardness that carries it all the way home. A pleasure to drink and a nice wine to have on the Thanksgiving table.