Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrive!
For those who don’t speak French, what that means is the first wine of the 2008 vintage — made from grapes picked only weeks ago — has been bottled and is available for sale right now.
Many snobs scoff at Nouveau, belittling its existence and poo-pooing it as “simple plonk”. I’m not going to try to change the minds of such cement-heads, but rather explain the purpose of Nouveau to those who have open minds.
First, before you taste a Nouveau it is important to have ZERO expectations. To meet its peak quality, wine — any wine — must spend some time aging, be it on its skins and lees, and/or in a barrel or other container. But with Beaujolais Nouveau, the goal is not to bottle a perfect wine. Rather, its purpose is to give a “sneak peek” as to the quality of the year’s vintage. A second focus is to celebrate the fruits of the most recent harvest through the holiday season.
So, bottom line is this: Beaujolais Nouveau will most likely not knock your socks off. This is not a wine to contemplate by the fire, nor to match with filet mignon. At the same time, it’s not a wine to put in the most proper crystal glassware (though you can if you want), and not one to worry much about. Pour it over ice in a styrofoam cup and drink it with hot dogs — it’s totally OK. On the contrary, it is a wine to have fun with, to enjoy with friends during cocktail hour or with a holiday dinner. Turns out, Beaujolais Nouveau is an ideal partner with just about everything on the Thanksgiving table.
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2008 Tasting Notes
The nose is a little more mature and deep than I expected — more like a Beaujolais Villages than a Nouveau. Let’s not get crazy, as it doesn’t smell like a 8-year-old wine — but then, it doesn’t exactly smell like an 8-week-old wine, either. What I get is fresh red cherries, sweet strawberry and red raspberry, and a mild touch of overripe banana. On the palate it has a glassy smooth texture, with bright cherry and strawberry flavors finishing quickly into a mouthful of dry, tart cranberries. Tannins are nonexistent, acidity is firm. If you are going to be a discerning, condescending geek, don’t bother with it. However, if you are seriously interested in the Beaujolais region, this Nouveau suggests that 2008 will be a wonderfully ripe and delicious vintage. If you fall into neither of those categories, pick up this wine, pour it over ice, and enjoy it with simple apps, a cheap “wine soaked” cheese wheel, or, ideally, for the Thanksgiving table. There’s no wine that goes as well with both pigs in blankets and the cranberry sauce (and everything in between).
a-6 t-6 b-7 fc-8 v-8 ~ 85 Points
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