Le Beaujolais Nouveau de Georges. Was Fun… Now Get Ready for his Cru Beaujolais!
Literally, “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” means, the new Beaujolais has arrived… the first wine of the harvest. The early-release wines made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France are officially released on the third Thursday in November all around the world. It’s the official celebration of the harvest’s end. This year, my celebration was with Franck and Anne Deboeuf of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf and their family’s 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau at Houston’s Brasserie 19 in Montrose, and what pleasure it was.
In the past, I have celebrated the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau in a hotel in England. To my surprise, I found a cadre of can-can dancers and an accordion player greeting me at the lobby when the elevator doors opened. They were parading around the lobby while glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau were poured and hors d’oeuvre passed. A few years later, the Beaujolais celebration found me in Tokyo Japan sans can-can girls and the accordion player, but with a grand supply of Nouveau wine being poured in Hotels and restaurants all around the city. I even remember one year when Texas’s Spicewood Vineyards had their end of harvest celebration with an early release Merlot Nouveau; not Beaujolais Nouveau, but Nouveau and a fine harvest celebration nevertheless.
With the Dubouef’s, we swirled, sniffed and savored this year’s early-release 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau, Villages and (new) Rose’ all made from the Gamay grape. Then, we received a preview of the soon to be released 2018 Crú Beaujolais wines representing the best of the Beaujolais regions. Cru Beaujolais can be serious, delicious, and age-worthy wines (often compared to Pinot Noir-based red Burgundy), the antithesis of the youthful Beaujolais Nouveau. Cru Beaujolais wines take advantage of more time bottle aging and are usually meant to be consumed between four and ten years after harvest. I can definitely say that the best is yet to come.
The Deboeuf Nouveau was pleasingly light in body and tannin. They were varied in color from purple to pink and were dominated by clean, fresh and fruity flavors reflecting their youth (and carbonic fermentation method used) now only about two months after harvest. By comparison, the Deboeuf Cru Beaujolais wines that we followed – Chateau de Capitans and Domaine des Rosiers representing the Julienas and Moulin-A-Vent Beaujolais regions, respectively – gave substantial color and a hearty presence in the glass with lunch. These Cru Beaujolais unabashedly paired with my entree – a medium rare steak au poivre.
Well, it’s all ready December and you may have missed this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau celebration, but don’t worry about it. Look for food-friendly Cru Beaujolais to grace your holiday table. Then, get yourself ready for the new Cru Beaujolais releases that will take place next month in January 2020. I’ll see you there!
BTW – It was great to see the fine turnout of some of my favorite Texas wine writing people from Houston, Dallas and Austin show up for this event. Those shown below included Andrew Chalk, Rebecca Murphy, Jessica Dupuy, Jeff Kralik, Dale Robertson, Sandra Crittenden, Kim Korth (Edible Houston publisher – not shown) and yours truly – Doc Russ, Texas Wineslinger at VintageTexas (not shown but behind the camera).