Celebrating the Beaujolais Nouveau release, Burgundy style, in NYC
The term “vintage of the century” has been tossed around like confetti by the French lately (though we can forgive them, I suppose, given the hella-bad weather some of their regions have been suffering in the last couple of vintages). It’s become more of an eye-roll-inducing a phrase than “private email server.”
And so it’s with a bit of uncharacteristic understatement that I use the term in reference to 2015 in the humble hamlet of Beaujolais. Yeah, that place that churns out the Nouveau stuff. The fact of the matter is, 2015 was probably an actual vintage of the century for Beaujolais.
Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé
I got a quick crash course in this when I was invited last month to NYC, to a dinner celebrating the release of Georges Duboeuf’s 2016 Nouveau (ok, quit the eye-rolling, it’s tasty, quaffable stuff when in the hands of folks who know what they’re doing with it… their 2016 Nouveau is fruity, fresh, clean, and delicious enough that you could mistake it for Beaujolais Villages blind).
Anyway, it was during that trip (thankfully before the dinner and after-parties) that I got to sit down with Franck Duboeuf, who walked me through several of their more substantial 2015 Cru area wines. Frank is well-steeped in the vino of the family business; he and his father taste with two oenologists, twice a day. The volume? “50 samples, minimum,” he told me; “after 40 years, we don’t have to talk.”
While Franck is a bit on the mild-mannered side, his family’s 2015 Cru releases did a crap ton of talking, and those who love good Cru Beauj ought to be listening. Closely. Because this vintage is putting the game in Gamay, and the beau in Beaujolais…
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I recently visited an area of Tuscany that is, ironically, probably better known for old school Vespa production than for wine, despite being in a prime tourist location between some of the region’s most popular northern cities: Terre di Pisa. It’s an area with a tight-knit, talented group of producers, and some of the more fascinating vineyard soils that you’ll ever see (and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of them).
I wrote about the experience for Palate Press, which you can check out via the link below:
Forward to the Past: the wines of Terre di Pisa
TdP views from Beconcini
I’m not going to give away the wine geekiness goodies from the article here (c’mon, you’re not really that lazy, are you?) but I thought that I’d at least list and link the wines highlighted in the piece:
Check out the article for the details, and, of course, the wines themselves (for a taste of what Tuscany is like from an area not dominated by the dueling monocultures of grapes and olives…).
Americans flipping the bird to the rest of the world
I travel the world. A lot.
For example, I was in Chile when Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States of America (and yes, I voted by mail before I’d left for the trip).
Since Trump’s election, I’ve traveled to other countries, all for wine-biz-related stuff, and the same question keeps being asked to me by well-meaning but concerned members of the wine biz. The same two questions, actually.
- How the f*ck did that just happen?!??
- What do you think Trump’s presidency means for the wine business?
I’m not only unequipped to answer the first question, I don’t think that, if I were, I’d have a decent, coherent explanation anyway (see the attempts by everyone else).
Regarding answering the second, I’ve got some good news/bad news for you. This is what I’ve been answering to everyone posing that second question to date:
Probably not much.
Since that seems a little (too) brief, I feel compelled to go into the details. But trust me, they won’t get us much further along the path to a viable answer…
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