2017 Beaujolais Nouveau is Here ! Let’s Celebrate the New Vintage
Every year since 1951, the third Thursday of November, tucked between Halloween and Thanksgiving, marks an entertaining event for the worldwide wine community: the release of the new-vintage Beaujolais Nouveau wine.
Nouveau might be mocked by some, for its fruity light-hearted approach to wine. But Thursday 16th of November 2017 was no exception to the tradition, allowing many of us to enjoy a little taste of the French just-fermented 2017 grape production, virtually before everyone else who isn’t into Beaujolais can.
The joy we experience from one of the first 2017 wine from the Northern Hemisphere to be released, does deserve a little background story though. Like many wine regions of France, Beaujolais, the famous Gamay grape-producing area just South of Burgundy, was hit hard by frosts earlier this year in spring. The vintage that will be recorded as the small harvest in France since 1945, brought some drama among the vignerons (winegrowers) in Beaujolais, with enormous hailstorms further destroying crops through a tumultuous summer!
Those whose vineyards didn’t get affected too badly however by the harshness of Mother Nature though, benefited from dry and relatively warm growing conditions, allowing to produce small concentrated berries and bring them to a high level of maturity and richness. A typical example of global warming I suppose, with unexpected destructive climatic events, but providing warmer seasons which can be beneficial to some cool-climate regions and their wines in terms of grape ripeness (when these haven’t been destroyed at some point).
So, to the important question:
How Good are 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau wines?
I have selected a couple of them, and gave them a try to get an answer.
For the background story again, it needs to be said that I am French indeed, and that I have virtually grown up (as an adult) on celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau in November. So, some reference in the style I have….
And, from what I’ve tried, 2017 looks like an excellent vintage for Nouveau.
The wines are round, and deeply fruity. Less vegetal character and acidity that what we’re used to, thanks to the warm weather. The result is relatively opulent wines, filled with red berry fruit flavors that actually taste natural because they come from the natural fruity character of the grapes they were made from, as opposed to being artificially brought in by the carbonic maceration and the yeasts.
Clearly, if you can find one of these two wines I’ve tried and reviewed below, your 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau experience, should be positive…
Find below my tasting notes of the Trenel and the Cochon Chic (understand: ‘the Chic Pig’) Nouveaus.
I will be (should be) reviewing Georges Dubeouf’s wines soon (the biggest Beaujolais winery) for further information, so stay tuned…
2017 Trenel Beaujolais Nouveau – 88/100 Pts
With a dense red color, this Nouveau looks vibrant and youthful, a shiny deep red color with hints of purple hues. The nose is vibrant as well, filled with acidic wood berry aromas, raspberry, blueberry, and fresh blackberry. Smelling juicy, just by the nose! The palate is round and soft, plenty of red berry flavors and a heap of juiciness, somewhat tasting like a blueberry juice, with the explosive red fruit character, as well as the slightly biting and salty phenolics.
Touches of peppery spiciness bring in a hint of welcome chili-like liveliness. Good acidity underlining the fruit freshness, but also a round body backing up the smooth texture.
Overall: a Nouveau all about the fruit character as we’re used to, but that adds some depth and an outstanding juiciness for the style. Definitely an excellent Beaujolais Nouveau made by Trenel here.
Definitely grab one if your retailer has it. More importantly, enjoy… 😊
2017 Le Cochon Chic Beaujolais Nouveau – 87/100 pts
Adding to the fun brought by the comic label, this Nouveau comes with a rather intense red color, with a heap of purple hues, betraying this is indeed a very young and youthful wine. It does look very attractive. The nose is typically very fruity, ripe cherry and gorgeously ripe strawberry. It is not super deep to smell at, but juicy and ripe smelling for sure, surprisingly so.
The palate is equally dominated by ripe red berry flavors, with a soft and round oily texture, with plenty of smooth tannins for the style.
A well-made, enjoyable and surprisingly opulent Beaujolais Nouveau, no vegetal character whatsoever, all about richness of fresh berry fruits, warming and comforting!
Happy Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 everyone!