It’s the third Thursday in November and wine lovers everywhere are celebrating the annual release of the few-weeks-old 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau—the 100-percent, Gamay-based bottling from the namesake region south of Burgundy.
This purple-colored easy drinker was traditionally what vineyard workers and winemakers drank as both a celebration of the end of the backbreaking harvest and as way to gauge the quality of the vintage.
While its youth, bright fruit and featherweight body have long been the whipping boy of many a bigger-wine lover, it’s still by far one of the most well-known still wines on the planet. Thanks, in no small part, to this decades old holiday that is marked by hundreds of raucous release parties all over the world.
At one such party (which included feathered flapper tap dancers) at Cercle Rouge in New York City, we tracked down Franck Duboeuf, co-owner of Le Vins George Deboeuf—which sells the most Beaujolais in America—to tell us why you should snatch up a bottle of this fast-selling wine. Here are Duboeuf’s top three reasons:
1. It’s a fun to drink
“This is a wine that was literally harvested just a few weeks ago. Yes, it’s young, youthful, but it still has a lot fruit and complexity. But it’s this youth factor that makes it fun. It’s in the wine and that is reflected in the parties, in the excitement around it.”
2. It’s bigger this year
“Thanks to the wet and humid winter and spring, the grapes were very small. We had a very warm summer and a late Indian Summer harvest, so the grapes are very concentrated, and the wine is richer and fuller with big strawberry, blackberry aromas and flavors. Still it’s very fine, elegant and balanced.”
3. There’s a real finish
“Thanks to that late harvest, this vintage’s finish is exceptionally long for Beaujolais Nouveau, significantly longer than past few years. It’s a wine that many are saying will be good one to age. And yes, most Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be consumed young, but it can age very, very well, and many who’ve tasted the 2013 are saying this could do very well. So drink one now, and cellar one!”