April 03, 2008
Closeout Wine Product
Ah, spring is here and it's time to drink some Beaujolais Nouveau.
What's that you say? Nouveau is too old in spring? It's just for Thanksgiving, if ever? Bollocks. Not when there's "Close-Out [sic] Wine Product" in our midst.
Yes, the finest vieilles vignes Beaujolais Noveau is on clearance in at least a few stores in this town. Me being a cheapskate, I buy when prices are low.
And what do you know? This 2007 J. P. Brun Terres Dores Beaujolais Noveau Vieilles Vignes is as good as I'd heard. I suppose you could fault it for being atypcial, enough so that one wonders if it might ever be refused its appellation for being, well, too good. The French do this on occasion, and it might be warranted here. Most nouveau tastes like bubble gum. This wine most certainly does not.
I'm not sure I've ever seen a Beaujolais Nouveau made from "old vines" like this Brun example. And the usual $18 regular price is certainly the most expensive Nouveau I've seen.
If you can believe it, this wine is worth that price and might even be worth cellaring for a little while. It has a lovely perfume and shows all the bright raspberry fruit, rocky earth and pleasant leafy qualities of the regular Brun Beaujolais I've loved for years, with just the slightest grapey edge that suggests Nouveau (made and bottled within weeks of harvest and usually meant to be drunk very young).
In fact, I wonder how Brun does it. The wine tastes like regular Beaujolais, good regular Beaujolais that is another example of wine that allegedly doesn't last in the cellar but in fact can.
I suppose there's no reason to cellar such a wine. Its charm will inevitably fade with time, and there's always a new vintage around the corner. But how can you resist? It's delicious, it's substantial, and it's sad when the bottle's empty.
So go and seek out some closeout wine product. You may be surprised. Nouveau may not be fashionable anymore, but it can be darn good wine.