I’ve had communications with Georges Dubœuf’s wine company. I’ve had a very insightful phone interview with Franck. For two years in a row, I received a bottle of their Celebration of Beaujolais Day — Beaujolais Nouveau — each year with a very festive, very fun tie to celebrate. They’re so cool.  Quintessential is their exclusive US Importer, and so when a newly released wine goes out, Georges Dubœuf arrives back at my door. Sometimes, like right now, it’s just Email news. I pay attention. Today, I loved this news… Good news for Beaujolais; it’s worth sharing.

From Beaujolais, France

Beautiful grapes and magnificent vines ~ everything’s in top form!

Since January, Beaujolais has been enjoying near-perfect weather conditions: a glut of sunshine, especially this summer, and just the right amount of rain to allow the vines to pass through each cycle smoothly and calmly. And although the summer dry spell is starting to show, the health of the vines remains excellent. The leaves are green and healthy, allowing the grapes to ripen beautifully.

The vines flowered wonderfully and very quickly (six days instead of 10, on average), ending on June 3 – three days earlier than in 2017.

After a hot and sunny June, the grape clusters closed, around the 27th of June, like in 2011.

On average, they started to colour on the June 23, two days earlier than in 2017.

On Tuesday August 28, we brought the first grapes of the season into our winery. Analysis revealed

  • Huge sugar content, between 12° and 13.4°
  • Low acidity between 4.7 and 5.5g/l
  • pH levels hovering between 3.22 and 3.34.
  • As for the colour, we’ve been seeing an uptick in anthocyanins* this week, and it should keep up as long as the beautiful weather holds.

*Anthocyanins (also anthocyans; from Greek: ἄνθος (anthos) “flower” and κυάνεος/κυανοῦς kyaneos/kyanous “dark blue”) are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that, depending on their pH, may appear red, purple, or blue. Wikipedia

The harvest is continuing under the summer heat, with temperatures of 90°F during the day and cool nights to let the grapes reach their peak maturity for the harvest. It looks like the good weather is set to continue over the next fortnight, so everything’s pointing to an excellent 2018 for the Beaujolais !

There have been a series of early harvests recently with 2009, 2011, 2018, 2017 and now 2018.  These have consistently led to high quality wines, and it’s looking like 2018 might top them all.

Up until now, at least, these ideal conditions have given our winemakers a certain peace of mind this year. We’re looking at an exquisite vintage both in terms of quantity and quality, from the South to the North of Beaujolais.  The weather and the seasons are working with us this year. Now it’s up to the winemakers, oenologists, cellar masters and all the teams to capture the charm of this beautiful vintage.