If you’re searching for a review of Beaujolais Nouveau wines from the 2008 vintage and wound up here, I must admit that I haven’t yet reviewed the new vintage. But what I’d like to know is, Should I? Feel free to direct me by leaving a comment on this post.
Frivolous. Animated. Ritualistic.
No, it’s not a carnival I’m describing, nor a seance conducted in the Halls of the U.S. Congress.
And that means that this year’s newest wine from France, the 2006 Beaujolais Nouveau, is frantically being shipped around the globe to a wine merchant near you.
These wines, made from hand-picked grapes (as is the custom in the Beaujolais region), have only been in the barrel about six to eight weeks. They’re not going to parallel the wares of the great Chateaux, I can firmly attest. More likely, they’re going to resemble a concoction akin to Kool-Aid, but with acid undertones.
Why on Earth would anyone drink so young a wine? Because Beaujolais Nouveau owes its easy drinkability to a winemaking process called carbonic maceration, also called whole berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the wine, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.
Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be drunk young. By most accounts, it should be consumed by the following May after its release.
That’s a pretty short-lived wine!
However, in some excellent vintages, such as the year 2000, the wine can live much longer and can be enjoyed until the next harvest rolls around.
I’m not sure if these answers adequately respond to the question. Nevertheless, many wine lovers will be rushing to their favorite wine merchants today to buy it. And I think I’ll be one of the many who will choose to drink it now.
If I can still get any tonight.
Yes, I’ll be participating in this lively ritual too. But because my fellow tasters have day jobs and limited evening schedules, I’ve decided that we should conduct our tasting tomorrow night, Friday, instead of tonight like a true Francophile will.
But even if I were a Francophile, I’d probably still not be so frivolous as to drink Beaujolais Nouveau more than once a year, especially when there’s all those “magnifique” Grand Crus from Pauillac waiting for me out there.
I guess tomorrow night I’ll be doing it for the bread, the cheese, and the camaraderie. And that’s what enjoying wine is all about.
******* UPDATE: I’ve now posted my ’06 Beajolais Nouveau review.