Want to add a Beaujolais Nouveau 2019 to your wine collection?
Whether it's for your Thanksgiving dinner or a movie night at home, this merry red wine is the perfect addition for cheerful gatherings.
But what is Beaujolais Nouveau? How does the 2019 vintage taste? And, where can you buy it?
This article will introduce you to the world of Beaujolais Nouveau, its makers, the production techniques, tasting notes, and where you can buy it.
And, if you wish to expand your wine collection with other fine wines from Beaujolais or anywhere in the world - be it for drinking or investing, jump to this section to learn how.
This article contains:
(Click on the links below to jump to a specific section)
- A quick introduction to Beaujolais wine
- Georges Duboeuf - the Winemaker
- Is Beaujolais Nouveau made any differently from other wines?
- When can you buy a Beaujolais Nouveau wine?
- Weather and other conditions that shaped the Beaujolais Nouveau 2019
- How does the Beaujolais Nouveau 2019 taste?
- Critics reviews of Beaujolais Nouveau 2019
- How long can you keep it for?
- Drinking and Serving a Beaujolais 2019
- How much does it cost?
- How to buy a Beaujolais Nouveau 2019?
- Buy Wines from Beaujolais and Any Other Wine Region Through Vinovest
A quick introduction to Beaujolais wine
The Beaujolais region, just south of Burgundy, is known for its red and white wine made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay grape varieties.
Of these, the Gamay grape (a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc) has shown the most natural resilience to the region’s weather.
Despite its popularity among farmers, the Duke of Burgundy banned the cultivation of Gamay in 1395. Following the ban, Gamay cultivators moved south into Beaujolais.
The Beaujolais AOC region is famous for these types of wine:
- Beaujolais Nouveau: The popular Nouveau wine comes from the largest appellation in southern Beaujolais.
- Beaujolais-Villages wines are made in the 39 communes or villages and must be consumed within two years of bottling.
- Cru Beaujolais are finer, deeper red wines that age up to a decade and are produced in the 10 highest quality northern vineyards of the region.
- Beaujolais Blanc & Beaujolais Rosé are Chardonnay-based white wines from the northernmost extremes of the region.
Of these, Beaujolais Nouveau is easily the region’s most popular produce.
And the winemaker responsible for introducing the world to this wine? Georges Duboeuf.
Let’s dive into a brief history!
Georges Duboeuf - the Winemaker
Born in a family of vintners (winemakers), Georges Duboeuf grew up on a farm. The Duboeuf family owned a few acres of vineyards, and Georges was trained in the art of winemaking from a very young age.
He began delivering wine to local restaurants at the age of 18. And soon, he was dabbling as a wine négociant in the region.
In 1964, he founded Les Vins Georges Duboeuf that produces more than 2.5 million cases of wine annually and has won several awards for its outstanding wines.
Georges’ biggest claim to fame?
He popularized the Nouveau variety of Beaujolais wines, for which he was nicknamed ‘Le roi du Beaujolais’ (king of Beaujolais).
Traditionally, Beaujolais Nouveau is the first wine of the vintage. It is made from grapes that were on their vines just six weeks earlier!
Beaujolais winemakers had been making this light and sweet wine to mark the end of harvest for many generations. It had a steady domestic market of wine lovers who also participated in the end of harvest celebrations.
But Duboeuf was the first to promote it in the larger markets outside the region. Selling the Nouveau batch was a great way to get end-of-the-harvest cash flow.
He did this by promoting the wine through races in which drivers who carried the most Nouveau from Beaujolais to Paris won.
Since 2018, the estate and business are being managed by Duboeuf’s wife Rolande and son Franck Duboeuf.
Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Day and Other Related Celebrations
The Beaujolais region celebrates each new vintage with firecrackers, music, and nearly 120 festivals. The biggest one among these is the five-day-long Les Sarmentelles — held in the town of Beaujeu, the capital of the Beaujolais region. The festival gets its name from ‘sarments’ or grapevine cuttings.
The celebrations are heralded by the traditional slogan ‘Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé’ (‘The new Beaujolais has arrived’)
During the festival, the locals come together for dances, games, parades, and wine tastings. They pay tribute to the grape farmers with a torch-lit parade around the Beaujolais village.
At midnight, the wine is launched with fireworks and music, and the party goes on until dawn.
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau label competitions
The Duboeuf winery has a rich history of collaborating with artists to create their wine labels.
The different label designs reflect the unique expression of the vintage - almost like a preview of what you’ll get when you uncork it!
In that spirit, the Duboeuf winery started the Nouveau Artist Label Competition in 2017 where they invited artists in the US to create new bottle labels. Since then, hundreds of artists apply each year for a chance to have their work immortalized on a bottle of Beaujolais.
Laura Runge from Texas bagged the 2019 label contest. Her artwork, “Joyous Crush”, drew her inspiration from the “celebratory feeling” that Beaujolais Nouveau embodies. Her design, selected from among 700 others, will appear on nearly a million Nouveau bottles.
Is Beaujolais Nouveau made any differently than other wines?
Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes grown in the alkaline, rocky soils of the Beaujolais AOC. The acid levels of the fruit grown in this area are very high - perfect for making wines like the early-release Nouveau.
The winemaking process - from harvest to bottling - takes a mere 25 days!
Also, the Beaujolais Nouveau is made using the carbonic maceration fermentation technique.
In this method, the grapes are dropped into a large tank (without air) and fast-acting yeast. The juice breaks out of the grapes to give the yeast sugar that it feeds on. This process releases carbon dioxide that further cuts off the oxygen supply from the grapes below.
The whole fermentation process keeps the tannins intact in the skin and gives the wine its fresh fruity flavour. After three weeks, the wine is bottled and released in the market.
This means that you can drink a Beaujolais Nouveau the same year that it is harvested. (Most other wines age for a year or more before being released - so you’d be able to buy a 2020 vintage only in early 2022 or later.)
However, as you go up north in the region’s Crus (like Fleurie and Morgon) the winemaking process resembles that of the fine wines of Burgundy.
For example, Cru Beaujolais sources grapes from ‘vieilles vignes’ or old vines of Cru vineyards, and the wines are subject to long fermentation, minimal stirring, and aging in neutral oak barrels.
When can you buy a Beaujolais Nouveau wine?
By French law, Beaujolais Nouveau can be sold from the third Thursday in November, also known as the Beaujolais Nouveau Day worldwide.
The 2019 Nouveau has been on the market since November 21 last year.
Weather and other conditions that shaped the Beaujolais Nouveau 2019
The 2019 harvest was a tough one for Beaujolais farmers. The year was marked by contrasts between a short and frosty winter, an early but warm spring, followed by a heatwave. But April saw sub-zero temperatures and frosts in the vineyards.
The region also experienced harsh winds, heavy rain, and a hailstorm that destroyed 3,700 acres of crop.
Thankfully, bright sunshine from August to September helped the remaining fruit ripen and mature.
All of this brought total production down by as much as 30%.
However, the winemakers did not let any of this affect their optimism to create a well-balanced wine, full of life.
The real setback came by way of US tariffs on wines from France, Spain, Germany, and the UK.
The 25% tariff was a significant blow to the income of local growers. Quite a few wine merchants canceled their shipments to the US. This was going to affect French wine’s availability on a mass scale.
And with just two days left for shipping, the Duboeuf family had to think quickly.
In the end, the financial shock was mostly absorbed by the winemaker, their US importer Quintessential Wines (co-owner, Steve Kreps Sr.) in Napa, California, and their distributors.
And so Beaujolais Nouveau rolled into the US markets as usual.
How does the Beaujolais Nouveau 2019 taste?
Last year’s vintage was made, bottled, and shipped within 8 weeks of the year’s harvest.
In this time, the wine has acquired a fresh acidity and higher tannin content than its earlier batches. But it still maintains its trademark sweetness and the aroma of red fruits that make it a festive favorite.
It has an open nose and hits the palate with a distinct zing of a young wine. Overall, its fruit-forward and light, youthful flavor make it a crowd-pleaser.
Critics Reviews of Beaujolais Nouveau 2019
Wine Spectator noted Beaujolais Nouveau 2019 for its “undertones of herb and stone” and “lightly tannic red, with spice and mineral details on the finish”. It received a score of 86.
Canadian wine critic Sara d'Amato gave the wine an 88 for this “fresh, more tannic incarnation of the basic Beaujolais.”
Wine Enthusiast’s Roger Voss notes that wine has “mild depth of ripe cherry fruit supported by firm tannins” and gave it a score of 86.
In 2019, four more wines were produced in the Duboeuf estate. Let’s take a look at how critics rated them.
A. Beaujolais Nouveau Château d'Ouilly
This red wine offers bright notes of cherry and raspberry and finishes off with traces of herbs.
Wine Spectator Score: 87
Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast: 87
B. Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau Domaine des 3 Vallons
This is a light-bodied red wine marked by mineral, licorice, and herb notes.
Wine Spectator Score: 87
Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast: 87
C. Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé
This cheerful Rosé is full of candied cherry and tangerine flavors with floral and spice details.
Wine Spectator Score: 86
Wilfred Wong: 91
D. Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau
The 2019 Beaujolais-Villages is tinged with dark cherry and cassis flavors and has a floral and spice notes finish.
Wine Spectator Score: 86
Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast: 87
How long can you keep the Beaujolais Nouveau for?
The combination of high acidity and low tannin content also means that it has low aging potential. This makes it a vin de primeur, which must be consumed within a year of manufacturing.
And as far as vin de primeur wines go, Beaujolais Nouveau is the most well-known one!
Enjoy your glass of Beaujolais Nouveau’s fruit flavors within six months or a year of its bottling. If you’re lucky, you can even store a good and rare vintage for over 2 to 3 years.
Drinking and Serving a Beaujolais Nouveau 2019
The intense perfume of raspberry and strawberry of Beaujolais Nouveau is experienced best when served chilled between 12 to 14° C (54 to 58° F).
This vivacious wine will shine at a Thanksgiving dinner paired with a roast chicken entree or a turkey dish with cranberry sauce.
You can also offer it on a platter of cheese, fresh fruit, or charcuterie.
How much does it cost?
The Beaujolais Nouveau is as famous for its affordable pricing as it is for its approachable taste.
Industry experts expected the US tariffs on French wine to affect the prices and sales of the wine. However, the United States continued to remain the top importer of Beaujolais Nouveau, along with Japan. And with dealers absorbing the tariffs to maintain steady sales, retail prices were barely affected.
Its launch price was $10 to $15 per bottle. And in the seven months since, it has dipped 46% to $7 in retail.
How to Buy a Beaujolais Nouveau 2019
The latest Nouveau wine has been available with every major wine retailer, online and offline, since the third Thursday of November 2019.
If you want to bypass the rush for last-minute gift pickup the next year, remember to order in advance. You’ll even find special gifting editions at checkout.
So, a Beaujolais Nouveau makes a great drink to celebrate a special occasion with family and friends.
And, you can easily buy it off-the-shelf in most wine stores.
But, what if you wish to expand your collection to the other age-worthy wines from the Beaujolais region? Or, for that matter, investment wines from anywhere in the world?
This would involve a lot of time-consuming research and overhead costs like broker commissions. Besides, you’ll probably never know if the bottle of 1996 Dom Perignon you’re holding is authentic or fake!
What you’d need then is a trusted wine investment company like Vinovest who can buy your wine bottles, store them, and get them delivered to you whenever you want to uncork a bottle!
Let’s see how this works.
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The flavors of vibrant red fruit make Beaujolais Nouveau an all year long essential in your wine rack. Moreover, it’s an excellent casual gifting option.
But if you want to expand your wine collection to investment grade wines, you’re better off with a wine investment company like Vinovest.
So, if you’re ready to make attractive profits with wine investment, pop open a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau 2019 and sign up for Vinvoest today!