In our opinion, this juicy red wine is closely related to the holiday of young wine – Beaujolais Nouveau day, which is celebrated all over the world on the third Thursday of November. On this day, wine from the region flows like a river, but is safely ignored for the rest of the year. Nouveau accounts for only one third of all wines produced in this region, but for many ordinary consumers, Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau are still synonymous.

The main red variety in this region is Gamay, from which about 98% of all wines are produced. The remaining 2% includes Chardonnay, Aligote, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne.

The Nouveau designation is not at all a sign of poor product quality. This means that the wine is on the market just a couple of weeks after harvest and is meant to quench your thirst quickly rather than for anything more. But, unfortunately, it was the Beaujolais Nouveau concept that greatly influenced the image of the entire region as a whole. Imagine a talented actor who, deciding to make easy money, starred in a cheap TV series and became associated with this role among viewers forever. Like such an actor, the entire Beaujolais region lives in the shadow of Nouveau. And that’s about 65 million bottles a year!

Beaujolais очень живописный регион в Бургундии знаменитый своими молодыми винами и праздником молодого вина

Today the region is experiencing a serious crisis precisely because of its low reputation. The wines are very difficult to sell, and many producers go broke and sell the wineries along with the land. And the inhabitants of Lyon, which is located at a distance of several tens of kilometers from Beaujolais, willingly buy such wineries and convert them into residential buildings.

His frequent mentions in the press associated with this or that scandal also served the region badly. We are talking about those unscrupulous winemakers who masterly dilute wine with low-quality raw materials or add sugar to it in order to increase the level of alcohol.

Due to various natural disasters, 2016 was a very difficult year for all wine-growing regions of France. In Beaujolais, almost 20% of the vineyards were affected by spring frosts and very strong hail at the end of June. Fortunately, July and August turned out to be warm and dry, which gives hope that the end of the season will still be successful. As they say, everything that does not kill us makes us stronger!

Many large negociants (resellers) from northern Burgundy buy land in Beaujolais and grow Pinot Noir and Gamay there. And since the cost of grapes is very low, it is actively used as part of the regional Bourgogne Rouge. Mostly these wines are made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Gamay.

Fortunately, there is a good chance that Beaujolais’s reputation could change for the better. The 2015 harvest was splendid throughout France.

Renowned Beaujolais producer Marcel Laperriere has described this year as one of the best in 50 years. Some wines are superior in many respects to wines from the 2010 harvest, which is an excellent result. And if you were planning to take a closer look at the Beaujolais wines, now is the time to do so, since the wines of the 2015 harvest are really very interesting and deserve your attention.

Beaujolais is part of Burgundy, historically, geographically and administratively. Therefore, it would be wrong to say that in Burgundy red wines are made only from Pinot Noir.

The Beaujolais Nouveau wines are indeed meant to be consumed quickly, but this style of wine cannot be completely associated with the entire region. Beaujolais wines may not boast of a dense structure and huge storage potential, but nevertheless, the best samples from this region can be stored for three to five years. The aroma and taste of mature wines is very similar to the style of aged red Burgundy. Let us remind once again that Burgundy and Beaujolais are neighbors, therefore some similarity of wines produced in these regions is natural and logical. All Beaujolais red wines are made from the same grape variety and are sold in the Nouveau, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages categories or in the category of one of the 10 Crus, which are among the region’s elite.

Cru vineyards are found on granite soil in the mountainous northern part of the region, while the standard Beaujolais and Nouveau are in the southern part, with its flat terrain and sandy soils. They are not always easy to distinguish during blind tasting, but stylistically they are usually divided into three groups: light and aromatic: (Chiroubles and Saint Amour), medium intensity (Côte de Brouilly, Brouilly, Fleurie, Chénas and Régnié) and rich (Juliénas , Morgon and Moulin à Vent). Of course, there are always some exceptions to the rules, but this classification system is the most traditional.

Beaujolais nouveau darīšana atšķiras no “ierasto” vīnu gatavošanas. Karboniskā macerācija – veselas vīnogas tiek raudzētas ar oglekļa dioksīdu bagātā vidē pirms saspiešanas.

In the production of Beaujolais Nouveau, a method of carbonic maceration is used, which differs from the technology for the production of conventional wines. During carbonic maceration, uncrushed grapes are placed in special vats rich in carbon dioxide. During normal alcoholic fermentation, the grapes are pressed, the juice is separated from the peel, and yeast is added, with the help of which the sugar is converted into ethanol. And with the Beaujolais production technology, fermentation takes place inside the berry itself. The wine obtained as a result of this technology has a very bright fruity taste and a low tannin content. These wines are ready to drink almost immediately after production, but lack structure and storage capacity. Only six weeks pass between harvesting and bottling.

Unfortunately, you can still come across very poor quality Beaujolais. Even the Cru vineyards are no exception. Wine critics of France try not to touch upon this delicate issue, since a couple of years ago his compatriots filed a lawsuit against one of these “truth-lovers”. The critic dared to call Beaujolais a “very bad” wine. I hope our magazine does not face such a fate. At the same time, I would like to note the fact that, in general, the quality of the democratic segment of Beaujolais wines is much higher than in Burgundy. And the prices are much friendlier. For example, for 20 euros, you will find a fine wine here with a distinct character and structure, which is almost impossible for the regional Pinot Noir in Burgundy.