August 1, 2015


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The Grape Nut

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé

OK, so the Beaujolais Nouveau has landed and it's out there for sale now. Every year on the third Thursday in November, these wines are released to the public, with increasingly dwindling fanfare. As the quality of the wines has plateaued and the prices have continued to rise, there's been little reason to get overly excited about the wines. You can read more about my thoughts on Gamay/Beaujolais here.

Having said that, I'm generally a big fan of wines made with the Gamay Noir grape, although the Nouveau wines rarely impress over the long term.

Generally speaking, Beaujolais Nouveau wines are fresh and fruity, and should be drunk sooner rather than later — they're optimal reds to have with turkey dinner at Christmas. 

Here are my first impressions of a couple of the reds available in our market...

Georges Dubœuf 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau (Beaujolais, France -- $16.95, Liquor Marts and beyond)
The sole Beaujolais Nouveau brought in by Manitoba Liquor Marts this year, the Dubœuf is bright purple in colour, with strawberry candy, raspberry jam and light yeasty notes, as well as an underlying latex-y aroma that's a bit perplexing. It's decidedly light-bodied and quite juicy, yet there's some tannin that dries out the red berry notes a touch. I also picked up a hint of tart greenness to the fruit that's accentuated by a splash of acidity — a touch underripe, perhaps? I'll revisit this over the next couple days to see if my opinion changes. Right now, though, I'm certainly not blown away. 2/5

Signé Vignerons 2013 Domaine de L'Aubépin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (Beaujolais-Villages, France -- around $20-21, private wine stores)
The Domaine de L'Aubépin is from the smaller Beaujolais-Villages region. It's slightly darker in colour than the Dubœuf, and is a little less immediately generous on the nose. Floral, fresh strawberry, and red licorice aromas don't come across quite as sweet-smelling on the nose as the former wine, and eventually secondary blueberry skins and spice show themselves. This wine shows far better ripeness than the Dubœuf, with plush red fruit — especially ripe strawberries and cherry skins — working well with light tannin. This Gamay Noir brings nice intensity and decent structure, and is certainly work the extra few bucks. 4/5

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