I hate those wine geeks who get all high-and-mighty about Beaujolais Nouveau! “Oh dear boy…I would NEVER drink Beaujolais Nouveau,” they say…and, when they do say that, I would NEVER consider them to be true wine-lovers! Where is it written that your vinous self-esteem needs to be connected to the amount of dollars you spend, the amount of tannin in your glass, the amount of new oak assaulting your palate? Rubbish! Well-made Beaujolais Nouveau, from Gamay grapes picked and squeezed just two months ago, south of Burgundy, is deliriously delicious stuff…I dream all year about drinking this simple young red in November, December, January…with garlic sausage, and a million other things! Think of it this way: Europeans are always drinking young, mirthful reds…but this is the only one, virtually, that regularly comes to the U.S.! What’s wrong with young? Ain’t nothing wrong with this new-born, a beautiful expression of Beaujolais Nouveau, made by a farmer in Le Breuil, and picked out by one of America’s greatest wine importers, Kermit Lynch. Because it’s not as crazily boisterous as some (the lower-quality ones smell like bananas and bubble gum), and because there’s a lick of structure in it…this may be one of the greatest Beaujolais Nouveau I’ve ever tasted! A medium purple in the glass—not too dark, and not too purple! Lovely, well-behaved Beaujolais nose: medium-ripe red fruits, a touch of lilac. On the palate, a hint of green lurks—which makes me guess that maybe the secret is the harvest of fruit before full jammy maturity. Then comes the hint of backbone, a scratch of tannin…which seems to raise the wine a touch above Beaujolais Nouveau…but is done so well, with walls of cushy fruit, that the overall effect is still very Beaujolais-Nouveau-like! I tasted a few other Nouveaux from 2013, and found that some of them, like the Bouchard, had some wiry tannin too—without the compensating fruit.
Go with Kermit…for charcuterie, cold cuts, cold chicken, roast chicken, meat stews and roasts…even fish! You’re in the forgiving world of Beaujolais Nouveau!
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