[PHOTO: Denis Lapaler, winemaker for Les Vins Georges Duboeuf]
Le beaujolais nouveau est arrive!
Beaujolais had always made a vin de l’année, to celebrate the end of the harvest. Until World War II, it was only for local consumption. Today, it’s become a worldwide phenomenon, due to some important actions taken by the Georges Duboeuf family.
In French, “nouveau” means “new.” For Nouveau Beaujolais or Beaujolais Nouveau, this refers to the first released Gamay wines from the Beaujolais region of France, each season. As of this November 21, 2019, they’re now available from the most recent harvest; and, are only a couple of months old. While seemingly so young, they’re ready to drink and are traditionally placed on sale at midnight, the third Thursday of each November. Again, due to their low tannin structure.
[PHOTO: Georges Duboeuf’s label artist on this November 21, 2019 Beaujolais Day: Laura Runge and Franck Duboeuf.]
So… Why so early? Curious people get to taste the future from the upcoming vintage… Think of having the unique experience of going into a wine cellar and having the winemaker use a “thief,” to extract wine from its aging container; and, you’ve got the private preview of an entire Beaujolais harvest. It’s definitely something to write home about… And, people (like me) do just that.
When samples are shipped directly to you, for your review… Twice blessed, indeed. And, so here’s the news… the 2019 Nouveau Beaujolais from Georges Duboeuf.
Georges Duboeuf in his autobiography Beaujolais, a Shared Passion
~ The 1960s to 1985 ~
Page 79: The Beaujolais Nouveau adventure was the most decisive in the Duboeuf saga. Georges himself said, “One of the luckiest things in my life was having grown up with Beaujolais Nouveau. In the 1960s, the Beaujolais and Mâconnais had about a hundred vintners. All of them marketed Beaujolais Nouveau, in very large quantities. Under the impetus of a few vineyard managers, including the late Louis Bréchard, and certain vintners and winegrowers, but also and especially thanks to the dynamism of the director of the Beaujolais interprofessional Group, Gerard Canard, who did a considerable amount of work in public relations, events of all kinds and in all places, this marketing of Beaujolais Nouveau became a large-scale Fete, starting November 15, which was the day when the wine was “unlocked.”
Briefly, several notable figures in Beaujolais are responsible for promoting Nouveau Beaujolais:
- Victor Perret – in the 50s and 60s, Victor was the owner of Chateau des Capitans in Juliénas.
- In the 1960s, Georges Duboeuf began to market Beaujolais Nouveau with small scale parties, held in their wine press room and in their wine cellar, with charcuterie and cheeses.
- The parties then grew to include Paris and Romanèche.
- The 200-300 people parties grew to include 800 people, by the 1980-1990s.
- Georges introduced the region’s local tradition of toasting the harvest, with the young wines, to a global audience in the 1980s.
- André Rebut (viticulturist)- in 1943, he founded a cooperative distillery in Pommiers. At 30 years old, he became president of the Beaujolais Federation of Distillers, with his prominence growing exponentially each year that passed, adding that in 1962, he was the president of the Federation of
- Wine-Growing Association of France (1962-1964). Jean Tixier worked in advertising in Paris. His work consisted of connecting politicians and performance artists, with the images of Beaujolais Nouveau.
- Invite to approximately 100 journalists: Dec. 20, 1951, Beaujolais 1951 invites you to its first Paris gathering, on Thursday, December 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Questure of the National Assembly.
- René Fallet’s novel of 1975, Le beaujolais nouveau est arrive, was published. Was a great success, bringing the wine into the limelight, both on the radio and television. With artist friends, the reshaping of Beaujolais Nouveau began to take shape.
- By 1985, the date was firmly set on the third Thursday of November, and segued into a more global experience. This was done to take best advantage of marketing in the following weekend.
Nouveau Beaujolais is created in wine country, just north of Lyon. So celebrations in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France and the world, has embraced these events, which are both exciting and very festive.
“How Do I Love Thee,” dedicated to her husband Robert Browning…
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
Ladies and gentlemen… The 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau, by Georges Duboeuf
2019 Georges Duboeuf Rosé
COLOR: The Apricot-pink rose of the Eustacia Vye roses. Crystal clear and so very dear.
SWIRL-SNIFF: Fresh grapefruit and strawberry blossoms in the spring, from this Gamay wine. Chill it for best flavors. These grapes come from 20-year old vines… Maturity of vines adds delightful flavors. This wine was made using the direct press method.
SIP: Memories of strawberry picking with my children, when we’d taste two and put one in the basket. Flavors were like being at a carnival and having cotton candy… Dry cotton candy, if there’s such a thing. Just an eye opening of deliciousness for what this vintage is going to deliver in rosé wine.
SAVOR: This is a really expressive wine, and I look forward to following it through this vintage, as it continues to age some more.
2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau
COLOR: The Ruby Slippers of the three wines. Pristine with deep purple overtones.
SWIRL-SNIFF: Wild blueberries found along the Maine coastline… Along with some native California cherry flavors.
SIP: Blueberry and cherry aromas have evolved from mid-summer heat spikes, and has delivered this important Gamay, from stainless steel fermenting tanks… It’s reflective of the grapes’ potential and delicately handled. Whole cluster harvesting has created a patchwork of differing terroirs and blended flavors.
SAVOR: Did you know that Franck Duboeuf and his team tasted over 5,000 samples during a two-week period, to craft this wine? The intensity and concentrations have delivered a Gamay of poetic prose. This is the unique one that relates nouveau, while still holding history in its hands.
2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau
COLOR: Garnet red, maroon with depth, and yet as young as a newborn’s buns… It has some deep, warm tones , which sparkle under a soft light.
SWIRL-SNIFF: Red raspberries, in the afternoon sun; standing in the raspberry patch at the top of the hill, and so thankful that no one else knows these berries exist… Days gone by on Sabattus Lake, brought back by a delectable Gamay.
SIP: Red raspberry fruitiness follows through from nose to palate, as this season’s mid-summer heat has delivered this important Gamay Beaujolais-Villages.
SAVOR: This is a very expressive wine, so sipping its expressiveness will bring you the most joy. It’s sourced from the same 38 Villages of the Beaujolais-Villages A.O.C. The soils are from granite (granite is a very hard, granular, crystalline igneous rock, consisting mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar) and schist (schist is a medium grade metamorphic rock), so expect it to be linear, clean, and vibrant. Bring out the charcuterie and cheeses! Also, this is your Thanksgiving wine. Light enough for both selections of a bird’s flavors, from white to dark meat.