It’s Beaujolais Nouveau time of the year again…
Beaujolais nouveau (French pronunciation: bo.ju.lay nu.vo ) is a red wine produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November.
Beaujolais nouveau is made from the Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc grape, better known simply as Gamay. The grapes must come from the Beaujolais AOC, with those of the ten “cru” appellations excluded. There is both Beaujolais Nouveau and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau produced; the latter coming from the ~ 30 non-cru villages in the region.
Beaujolais nouveau is a purple-pink wine reflecting its youth, bottled only 6-8 weeks after harvest. The method of production means that there is very little tannin, and the wine can be dominated by such fruity ester flavours as banana, grape, strawberry, fig and pear drop. The wine is recommended to be slightly chilled to 13°C (55°F).
Beaujolais nouveau is intended for immediate drinking. While some nouveau can be kept for a few years, there’s no real reason to, as it doesn’t improve with age. For comparison, standard Beaujolais AOC wines are released the following year and can be stored for one or more years before consuming. The wines show definite variation between vintages, and as such are eagerly awaited as a first indicator of the quality of the year’s regional wine harvest.
Enjoy… ’tchin tchin’ !