It’s here! Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive!
In other words, Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived. Let’s face it, unless you have the kind of bucks that can be thrown away for Bordeaux futures, there aren’t too many dates for a wine geek to look forward to … so the third Thursday in November is a fairly special day.
If you missed the post from a few days ago, there’s a rundown answering questions all about Beaujolais Nouveau to help you understand what all the excitement is about. In a nutshell, Beaujolais Nouveau is part celebration, part preview. By tasting the very first wine of the vintage, you should get a fair idea of what the “real” Beaujolais wines will taste like when they are released in the spring/summer of the following year.
That said, let’s get to the tasting notes. The Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2005 shows aromas of fresh, ripe strawberry and red cherry. Fairly simple, but fresh … it certainly smells like a five-week-old wine. On the palate you get the same fresh, ripe strawberry in the flavor, mixed with red and black cherries. It really does taste like biting into a fresh strawberry. However, there is more to the wine than that.
What this wine lacks in complexity it makes up in structure and balance. The 2005 Nouveau is held together with ample, tart acidity and surprisingly ripe tannins: two elements that stay through a remarkably long finish. Why is this so surprising? Because a wine this young shouldn’t have any tannins, and only moderate acidity at best. Is this a wine to compare to a $50 Pinot Noir? Of course not, but it is much better than expected and will hold its own against other ten-dollar wines … at least for the short-term.
The grapegrowers of Beaujolais were telling us that the 2005 wines would be rivaled only by the once-in-a-lifetime “vintage of the sun” 2003. Personally, I dismissed these claims as marketing hype, but after tasting this Nouveau, I’m a believer, and looking forward to the release of Beaujolais-Village and the various Beaujolais Crus in 2006.
Until then, we have Nouveau. Enjoy this wine now through the New Year holiday. Bring a few bottles to Thanksgiving dinner, and drink it with appetizers, your first few bites of turkey, and the cranberry sauce.