Beaujolais Nouveau comes onto the market tomorrow morning and not before! For those of you unfamiliar with Beaujolais and indeed Beaujolais Nouveau, the Majestic team on the Isle of Wight have a little information for you…
Beaujolais is situated to the south of the Burgundy region in central eastern France. The grape type of Beaujolais is Gamay. The region has ten superior cru villages, they are: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin à Vent, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Régnié, Côte de Brouilly and Brouilly. Generally Beaujolais is known for its lighter style wines, which are drunk young, yet Morgon and Moulin à Vent are a little more powerful and do improve in bottle with a little ageing.
Although most Beaujolais is designed not to age, Beaujolais Nouveau is specifically produced to be drunk very young. It is released after midnight on the third Wednesday of November in the same year it was harvested and it cannot be sold after August 31st the following year. The use of carbonic maceration (which is the pressing of grapes via the use of carbon dioxide, which causes the grapes to explode and release their juice) gives the wine those distinctive bubblegum / tropical fruit flavours.
The wine was the subject of one of Derek Trotter’s Only Fools And Horses infamous attempts to sound classy. When in a restaurant ordering the wine he said to the waiter:
“I’ll have a bottle of the Beaujolais Nouveau…A 79!”
– the year was 1984!