Beaujolais Nouveau was released today. The wine, for those of you who don’t know the deal, is the first wine made from the year’s harvest, released to market the crap out of celebrate a new vintage of wine. It’s a wine that they’ve been making in France for a long time – like, this really is a legit tradition rather than a marketing thing - but that they didn’t export until 1951. Its reputation is mixed: it’s a random, fun wine, but it’s not anything destined for greatness nor any kind of shelf life, and has its fair share of detractors due to the insane marketing bonanza surrounding it.
That said, last year’s vintage frankly sucked, so I’m hoping this one isn’t as bad. Here goes:
Region: Beaujolais, France
Grapes involved: Gamay
Cost: $10.00 or so
Food pairings: I always refer to this as a pizza wine. As far as I can tell, that’s pretty much it’s best and highest purpose. That may not sound like much for a wine, but it really is GOOD with pizza.
Rating: Wine Enthusiast gave it an 84
It looks like this:
See how vibrantly pink purple it is (when I hold it directly up to a light, anyway)? It’s that color in part because of how young the wine is. Wine gets browner as it ages. This wine is as young as it gets, so there isn’t even a shade of brown to it.
It smells like bright cherries and berries with a hint of rose petal – it’s a vibrant pink (think hibiscus-colored) smell.
Taste-wise, the first thing you’re likely to notice is the alcohol – it’s not that it’s warming or hot in any way, it’s just that the wine hasn’t had a chance to age or blend the flavor in at all. After that, it’s pretty much a cherry bomb – very bright, almost maraschino-like cherries with a few hints of berry and some violet (which I don’t understand – I emphatically smell rose, but I taste violet), and a hint of something slightly like banana in the background. The mouthfeel is low in tannins and high in acidity, light-bodied, slightly green.
All told, I like it. It’s not my favorite wine; I don’t feel the need to have bottles upon bottles of it , but it is nice. Like I said, I hated last year’s vintage – I thought tasted like vinegar and tomato leaf. This year’s vintage is much more frankly fruit-forward, which makes it a much easier wine to drink. It’s not that I’m particularly in love with fruit bomb wines, but it works here. Big, earthy, mushroom- and wood-laden flavors wouldn’t work very well with all the acidity.
So. It’s pretty good; I like it and I’d love to know what you think.
The label, on the other hand, is horrid. It’s this sort of graffiti-inspired monstrosity:
that I’m sure made a truly terrible tie. And yes, there are ties – like full-on, for serious neckties (the distributor I work for had a few) – and yes, I’ve seen people wear them. The ties are, um, LOUD.