Monday, December 12, 2016

First Wine Of The Harvest

Holiday time always brings on the Beaujolais. If you follow such things, you get that little pre-Thanksgiving kick of the Beaujolais Nouveau release. It happens on the third Thursday of November, every year, giving a small window of opportunity before tastes move on to other delights, like cru Beaujolais.

The Nouveau is a young wine, made from Gamay grapes and meant to be consumed while young. To be blunt, it’s not getting any better in the bottle.  I have always found BN to be a dull, drinkable wine that is often quite grapey, but others seem to revel in its simplicity. Personally, I don’t see the need to rush the wine out the door immediately after harvest, but I understand it started as a marketing ploy, and lives on as that today. "The First Wine of the Harvest."

‘Tis the season, anyway. So I tried the Georges Duboeuf 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau with no anticipation at all. Never having enjoyed a vintage of the style, I was fully prepared to be nonchalant about it. The 12% abv wine shows a Rieslingesque "dryness scale" on the back label that indicates this one comes in as "medium dry."

The wine looks very dark and smells it, too. Blackberry aromas dominate the nose and palate, with a fair amount of complexity in the forms of minerality. A grapey taste stands front and center with shades of earth showing nicely. The finish is plain and unfettered by nuance. It's good this year, but it's still not a wine to think too much about, it's a wine to absent-mindedly swirl and sip over good conversation.