Wine cynics love to scorn Beaujolais Nouveau as candy-flavored Kool-Aid that’s mass-marketed to people concerned more about trends than taste. But I can’t wait for it to be released each year.
First, for its symbolic value. Traditionally, Nouveau is the first wine released from the new vintage; it’s like the town crier bringing happy news of a successful harvest. It’s like turkey at Thanksgiving—it might not be the most sophisticated taste you’ll ever enjoy, but the tradition is heart-warming.
But I also like the wine itself, for its fresh, grapey exuberance. I participated in Wine Spectator’s blind tasting of the 2009 Nouveau, and was impressed by both the consistent quality and the diversity of character of this year’s crop.
So I picked up a bottle at my local retailer on the way home: the Domaine Dupeuble, a cuvée made specially for importer Kermit Lynch. It was a bit expensive, at $17, but I was seduced by an excerpt from Lynch’s blog, stating that the wine was “bottled unfined, unfiltered, and unsulfured, and flown to the U.S. in mid-November. The wine was made with natural yeasts and was not chaptalized. You are getting wine in its most natural, raw state possible.”
Indeed, the supple, fruity red was fresh and focused, filled with berry and cherry fruit. I rated it 88 points, non-blind. My mother-in-law, Nancy, sliced some dried pork sausage, redolent of garlic and herbs, and we utterly enjoyed the heart-warming combination of honest wine and simple food.
Don’t Miss: Our reviews of the 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for recently rated cru Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages and other Beaujolais.