It’s Beaujolais Nouveau time again and the verdict is in on the 2017 harvest: great quality and small quantities. And starting Thursday, drinkers can judge for themselves as the young, fruity purple wine is poured from thousands of bottles around the world.
While the great sense of occasion that has surrounded the release in the past may have lost some luster, the 2017 vintage is still worth celebration.
Beaujolais Nouveau provides the first view of the harvest. And this year, it wasn’t clear sailing. Frost, hail and then drought resulted in limited quantities of small grapes with tough skins. In the end, thanks to some rain, the harvest delivered on quality with the ripe grapes producing great wine.
Beaujolais Nouveau will be released Thursday at 12:01 am.
In the past, the wine couldn’t leave Beaujolais until release time, and lorries and cars would race dangerously across Europe to deliver the wine to thirsty consumers in time for breakfast. Now, the wine is distributed ahead of time—you just can’t buy it until the magic hour.
In Beaujolais, there’s sure to be a party in the Georges Duboeuf winery. Duboeuf is the creator and biggest player in Beaujolais Nouveau, and the winery behind a 150 celebrations that will take place across the United States. Check your local events calendar to find one near you.
Franck Duboeuf, son of the legendary Georges, along with Anne Duboeuf are in New York City for a special reception at L’Appart restaurant to celebrate the occasion. Georges, meanwhile, is in Japan, where Nouveau is particularly beloved.
You can take part, too. Pick up a bottle at your favorite wine store on Thursday, and raise a toast to the 2017 harvest.
Four Beaujolais Nouveau Wines to Look For
Georges Duboeuf The First Wine of the Harvest Beaujolais Nouveau (Imported by Quintessential Wines)
Henry Fessy Beaujolais Nouveau (Imported by Louis Latour Inc.)
Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau (Imported by Dreyfus, Ashby & Co)
Bouchard Aîné & Fils Beaujolais Nouveau (Imported by Boisset Collection)