Beaujolais: Ah, To Be Young, Wild, & Free

One of the wine world’s most celebrated events is Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! I remember just a few weeks after last year’s Paris attacks the Beaujolais Nouveau wine makers driving through Paris in convertibles celebrating the release of the 2015 vintage, bringing joy, hope, and a sense of normalcy to Paris and the world. In that same spirit it is time once again to celebrate the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau!

beaujolais-nouveau-2016

Right now everyone is thinking Beaujolais. Our French Winophiles group is celebrating Beaujolais this month. At the same time I had the pleasure of participating in a Charles Communication #Brandlive tasting featuring Franck Duboeuf, second generation proprietor and son of Georges Duboeuf. Franck was in New York City hosting the Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations. Georges has recently passed the operational baton to Franck; thus Franck shared how he is revitalizing the family business with a more forward-looking model for a region often overlooked between Burgundy and the Rhone Valley.

A quick over-view of the Beaujolais wine region:

  • It is located north of Lyon in eastern France, overlaps Burgundy in the north and Rhone in the south.
  • It is only 34 miles long, and 7-9 miles wide
  • It is divided by the Nizerand River; granite and schist soils are located north of the river, providing excellent structure for the wines, all Crus vineyards are located in this region
  • Clay based soils, marl are located south of the river, where most of the Beaujolai Nouveau is produced
  • All Beaujolais wines are crafted from the Gamay grape with the exception of Beaujolais blanc, made from Chardonnay
  • All grapes are manually harvested then crafted in a unique winemaking method known as “semi-carbonic maceration,” or whole berry fermentation, preserving the freshness of the grapes while adding distinctive banana and candied fruit aromas
  • 3 classifications of Beaujolais wine:
    • Beaujolais AOC: largest appellation consisting of 96 producers, largely in the south, known for easy drinking, refreshing wines with light acidity and tannins, drink immediately
    • Beaujolais Villages AOC: includes 38 official villages, moving north on the granite soil with a bit more minerality to the wines, a little more elegant and refined, drink young
    • Beaujolais Crus: 10 Crus, all north of the river, highest quality terroir based wines with complexity and aging potential

beaujolais-gamay-duboeufBeaujolais red wines are crafted exclusively of Gamay. Gamay is a bit of an illusionist grape with very black skin that bleeds white juice, yet creates a beautiful ruby colored wine. Typical Gamay is known for its fruit flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, blackberry, and cranberry, wrapped in warm spice notes of cinnamon, vanilla, smoke, violets, eucalyptus, minerals, and white pepper. Gamay is fashioned into a variety of expressions in Beaujolais, but the Nouveau is light, fresh, easy to drink, served with a slight chill, and perfect for parties, and holiday cuisines. It is a wine to please all tastes.

“With heart, determination, and boldness,
we share our passion.” ~
Georges Duboeuf Wines

Georges Duboeuf was born into four previous generations of winemaking. In 1964, he began Les Vins de Georges Duboeuf and his wine merchant business. He revolutionized the wine industry by applying his ancestor’s wine philosophy of “respect for the terroir and work of the winemaker, rigorous selection and monitoring of wines at the time of bottling, and above all, the continuous search for high quality, with clean bottling processes.” Fifty years later Georges and his wife Rolande are joined by their son Franck in continuation of Georges’ pursuit to offer quality wines that combine the flavor profiles of the terroir with the bold character of the fruit.

img_0630

Fifty years later and still loyal to this land, we continue to select healthy, balanced, aromatic wines rich in character.” ~ Georges Duboeuf Wines

img_06312016 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Beaujolais France ($11.99): bright ruby with violet hues in the glass; fresh ripe red berries, vibrant candied violets, savory herbal notes; quaffable, pleasant and highly enjoyable; a wonderful 2016 vintage! Serve slightly chilled for best results.

Pairing suggestions: roasted chicken or turkey, salmon, and charcuterie

 

img_06322015 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages Beaujolais France ($12.99): bright ruby; fresh red and blue berries wrapped in warm spice notes, a bit more earthy than nouveau, still elegantly enjoyable, quaffable, highly approachable.

Pairing suggestions: glazed butternut squash with goat cheese, apples, and pumpkin seed vinaigrette, sweet and sour pork ribs, and roasted chicken with rosemary-garlic pan sauce

 

img_06332015 Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Beaujolais France ($19.99): deep garnet in the glass; red fruit, violets, touch of earthiness on a bed of minerality, added structure that adds a layer of muscle to an otherwise finesse wine; really lovely

Pairing suggestions: prime rib, veal scaloppini, roasted lamb with thyme, sushi, gruyere mac and cheese, and tarragon chicken

 

img_06342015 Georges Duboeuf Morgon Beaujolais France ($21.99): garnet with inky purple hues in the glass; black fruit notes of cherries, berries, and plums joined with spice notes, anise, and hint of savory herbal notes with a graphite minerality on the finish; concentrated wine with a little bigger tannins and silky mouth feel; delicious. Said to express the “fruit of Beaujolais and the charm of Burgundy.”

Pairing suggestions: curried chicken, roasted duck with plum sauce, turkey with chestnut stuffing, cioppino, and hanger steak with chimichurri

*Disclaimer: These media samples were shared with my by Charles Communication for the purpose of the Georges Duboeuf Brandlive tasting. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The 2016 Georges Duboeuf label was designed by a customer selected from an international internet competition.
The 2016 Georges Duboeuf label was designed by a customer selected from an international internet competition.

To learn more about Vins de Georges Duboeuf visit their web site.

Now for more delicious Beaujolais discoveries check out my fellow #winophiles:

A Fall Day in Beaujolais by Jeff of FoodWineClick

A Great Everyday Red Wine by Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog

Look What I’m Bringing to the #TastyParTEA and Sharing with #Winophiles by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm 

Sole Véronique with a Château Thivin Brouilly by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla 

A Beaujolais Surprise by Gwendolyn of Wine Predator

The Crus of Beaujolais by Jill of L’occasion

What is your favorite style of Beaujolais? Do you include Beaujolais in your holiday meal celebrations or parties? What is your favorite Beaujolais food pairing?

Please join us this morning at 10CST on Twitter using #Winophiles to share your love of Beaujolais or learn more about this delicious, versatile, and budget friendly wine.

My Song Selection: Beaujolais is easy drinking, highly enjoyable, refreshing, and very food friendly. It is also undeniably French. It is, by nature, celebratory and fun.

Get your own bottle of Beaujolais and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!

8 comments

  1. “respect for the terroir and work of the winemaker, rigorous selection and monitoring of wines at the time of bottling, and above all, the continuous search for high quality, with clean bottling processes.”

    A full manifesto in one sentence… what an impactful winemaker. Great lineup, thanks for sharing your impressions. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s