The Noble Rot: a botrytis fungus (Botrytis cinerea) that infects various usually overripe wine grapes causing shriveling which results in increased sugar and flavor content and is responsible for the characteristic flavor of sauternes and related wines. [Merriam-Webster]
Mankind has enjoyed wine since antiquity. And since mankind knows how to screw up a good thing, wine has had its ups and downs throughout the ages. And while mankind’s love for wine has waned and ebbed with a violence worthy of the ocean’s envy, wine has always loved man. This is not a digital corner for the mature oenophile or for me to wax without restraint about wine.
As an avid consumer of Bacchus’ gift, these are merely my notes – as much as for future referencing as for me to share with you, my digital friends.
So with the new year underway, it stands to reason that we start on the same page and turn to the fall’s most anticipated bottle, the Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the harvest. Since its long association, gimmicky, I know, has been with the Georges Dubœuf house, let’s start with the highly anticipated 2015.
The joy of finding the bright colors and festive designs of this bottle on the shelves a week before Thanksgiving has become a celebration unto itself. We all know that wine snobs could give three shits about this bottle and are certainly the loudest voices denouncing the gimmick, it’s funny to see how other homes (Joseph Drouhin, Bouchard, Mommessin, et al.) have joined in the bonhomie of the first harvest.
Since most folks on this hemisphere know or have seen Dubœuf’s product, let’s talk about that as this column’s opening salvo.
The last time I enjoyed a bottle of this Beaujolais Nouveau was in the winter of 2012 and if the many bottles that I’ve traveled since don’t fog my memory too much, that was a year alive with grapefruit and citrusy flavors. The 2015, which I shared with the same friend this past fall, is nowhere near the same level of fruit but defends itself with a more herbal tone and the hint of ripe berries.
Since I skipped a pair of years, forgive me if this has been a trend for the house as I wouldn’t qualify the wine as a Beaujolais Nouveau had I been blind-tasting, nope, I would’ve said a smart and balanced red blend but a thoroughly enjoyable one. Good stuff though I admit an initial disappointment to the lack of fruit.
Georges Dubœuf – Beaujolais Nouveau
General Notes: Balanced wine, berries and cherries with woodsy flavors, snaky tail with a slightly bitter remain.
Open: Keep the decanter on the shelf, pour hard into a big glass and sip immediately. I don’t like the oxygen interacting too much with this lady and since it’ll go to shit by February, drink it now – alone or with friends.
Pairing: This lady is good for BBQ’s on a cold day, robust fowl or assorted appetizers. Good to open a meal with if followed by something a little more muscular.
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