We are officially a week away from turkey day! It might be a little different this year, but for all of the normalcy that we have collectively sacrificed since March, it's time to celebrate whatever version of the holidays we're having by opening some bottles that we love, even if it means we can't share them with as many people as we want.
One of the tried and true traditions of this third Thursday in November is Beaujolais Nouveau. This all started as a marketing push in the 70s to promote the Beaujolais region. These Vin de Primeur, or early wines, would be the first wines to be released from the harvest that happened just weeks before. Wineries would race to put them out on this arbitrary release date, often cutting corners and producing a simple sugary juice for a thirsty worldwide market looking for an excuse to party. For the winemakers in this working class region, it's a much needed boost to the local economy. Basically the Record Store Day of wine. But unfortunately the PR was so good that Beaujolais, to the non wine nerds of the world, got a bad rap of just being a juicy, kind of sweet wine you should drink once a year.
This big commercial success and industrial production of these wines are really what lead to the modern "Natural Wine" movement with traditional producers, specifically the "Gang Of Four" in the late 70s/early 80s, pushing back and making the authentic artisanal Beaujolais of their grandparents, not adding any sugar or anything else, just healthy grapes from special plots spread out across the 10 Crus of the region.
Now we've come full circle with a younger generation of winemakers following the ethos of the Gang of Four, while still wanting to make (and drink) fun, chuggable "Glou Glou" wines that you can consume in large quantities. Enter the new Nouveau. We just have one on the shelves at the moment, but it perfectly sums up this reclamation of the Primeur. Here are the stats:
Beaujolais Primeur, Séléné 2020 $23 Sylvere Trichard is an up-and-comer making natural wines from his family's vines in Blace, just south of Brouilly. His uncle had been farming these 4 hectares organically since 1998, but when Sylvere took over in 2012, after working at Domaine Belluard and Domaine Lapalu, he went full biodynamic in the vineyards and stopped using sulfur in the cellar, except sometimes a little at bottling. Generally his wines are semi-carbonic and aged in a combination of concrete and old barrel, but this one is full carbonic all in concrete. Juicy, chillable and chuggable with a dark cherry note, dried flowers and spice with mouthwatering acidity. Drink this by the gallon.
We also have some great Cru Beaujolais from up north in Chenas that we featured earlier in the week and our Eastern France Dozen for $145 and Half Dozen Red for $75 have some beautiful examples of Gamay and other turkey friendly gems galore.
We have an exciting announcement coming tomorrow with a full rundown of what you should drink next week.
drink wine every day
Even though it feels different this year, the holiday season is here! Among other things, that means Beaujolais in every flavor and today we'll start with a Cru that doesn't make the rounds as much as its famous neighbors like Moulin-a-Vent and Fleurie, but produces a really distinct and delicious expression of Gamay: Chenas.