Come November, when fall is at its fullest and most Americans are preparing for the calorie parade that is Thanksgiving, the good people of France are celebrating their own boozy holiday: Beaujolais Nouveau Day. A single day entirely dedicated to opening and enjoying the first new red wine vintages of the year.
Beaujolais Nouveau Day's official date is always the third Thursday of November. (So, mark your calendars for 11/18/21, y’all!) But, we got a head start on celebrating this unique wine tradition with the recent release of Bougie New Beau – a wine so, so juicy, SO fresh, we can't help but feeling bougie ourselves.
Meet our Bougie New Beau – a Tempranillo crafted in the Beaujolais Nouveau style.
What is Beaujolais Nouveau?
Beaujolais Nouveau began as an early release wine, drunk by vineyard workers, to celebrate the end of harvest. The wine itself is easy, fun, and vibrant (as it should be). It’s a young and juicy red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in Beaujolais. Crafted by using the process of ‘carbonic maceration’ and typically bottled a mere 6 – 8 weeks after being picked.
Now, if you’re whispering to yourself “CaRbOnIc MaSsi whaaat?” We did the same — until we talked to Alaina and Adam, our winemakers. It’s really just wine speak for a technique where whole grapes are fermented in a carbon dioxide rich environment before crushing. So the wine actually begins it’s fermentation INSIDE the grape itself, instead of being crushed before fermentation - cool right?!
"We had never made a wine this way, so it was a bit of an experiment. Mostly we just wanted to see if we could produce those juicy fruity flavors we all love so much by using a completely different method."
This method is used to produce wine that’s super fruit forward, very low in tannin, with a lip smacking acidity. But our favorite part of Carbonic wines is that they are usually ready to clink and drink pretty quickly.
The Evocative Take
Our winemaker Alaina Waller breaks it down and spills the tea on our Bougie New Beau Carbonic Tempranillo.
“2019 was one of those tough growing seasons where everything was going pretty perfect...and then the temperatures dropped and red wine grapes were struggling to ripen," Alaina said. "It was kind of like rolling an ankle in the last mile of a marathon. We had never made a wine this way, so it was a bit of an experiment. Mostly we just wanted to see if we could produce those juicy fruity flavors we all love so much by using a completely different method.”
But why Tempranillo instead of the traditional Gamay? For one, we had some. Also because, in the words of our assistant winemaker Adam Carr, “Tempranillo is kinda like the wine equivalent of a pop song. It’s a crowd pleaser. It’s catchy and easy, and while you may not love it, it’s also kind of impossible to hate.”
And while Gamay is grown here and there around the Willamette Valley, Tempranillo shares a similar flavor profile and grows in our proverbial back yard.
In truth, we had big bougie plans for this 2019 vintage, with bottling scheduled in March of 2020 for release in the early summer. But like everything else, those plans came to a screeching halt during the pandemic.
🌅 Lucky for us, and you, this Beau held onto it’s mysterious aromas and is still a real catch. We made just over 100 cases, so make sure to snap it up before it sails into the sunset.
Carbonic wines aren’t really intended to hang out in the cellar because they lack the tannins for long-term aging. So, be sure to take full advantage of your Bougie babe and pop that cork with trust fund confidence and enjoy instant gratification!
Beaujolais Nouveau Facts:
🍇 Typically a young and juicy red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in Beaujolais, France.
🍇 Made using the process of ‘carbonic maceration’ — meaning fermentation begins *inside* the grape.
🍇 Characteristics are fruit forward, very low in tannin, with a lip smacking acidity.