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  • Beaujolais Nouveau Wine

    Beaujolais Nouveau

    This young, extremely fruity wine is sold according to tradition from the third Thursday of November.

    Clacking tongues suggest that the early sale ofthese wines is a marketing stunt to reduce French wine stocks.

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     It is not surprising that Beaujolais Nouveau is nicknamed 'the third river of Lyon'. Others wax lyrical about the outstanding fruitiness of the new season's Beaujolais. Expertenced wine drinkers regard this young wine as heralding the results of that vintage and do not make such a fuss. They consider the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau more as a custom than a passing fad. It is up to you whether to buy them or not. In any event try to avoid the cheaper examples. Always drink the better Beaujolais Nouveau such as a Beaujolais ViJlages Nouveau chilled at about 50°F (10°C).

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    The basic Beaujolais is produced as a white, rose, and red.. Light, fruity wines are made on more than 10,000 hectares of predominantly chalky soil. Drink these wines at approx. 51.8° (F11°C).

    Since the most southerly white Burgundy appellation of St-Veran came into existence the production of white Beaujolais has been significantly reduced. Beaujolais Blanc is made with Chardonnay grapes (and occasionally a little Aligote). The wine is fresh and fruity in taste and nose. Experienced wine drinkers may detect a hint of hazelnut, mint, butter and sometimes green vegetal such as green pepper (paprika).

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    There are 39 communes which are permitted to call themselves AC Beaujolais Villages. The wine is soft and generous with a delightful cherry red colour and considerable scent and taste of fruit such as blackcurrant and strawberry. Drink at 51.8-53.6°F (11-12°C).{jcomments on}

  • Carbonic maceration

    Carbonic maceration

    The general wine-making method in Beaujolais is carbonic maceration. The Gamay grapes are tipped into lare vats of timber, concrete or stain less steel as soon as possible after they are picked.

      The entire bunch including stems is left intact. The weight of the grapes themselves gently presses the grapes at the bottom and the juice from these (10-30% of the total volume) begins to ferment slowly. The sugars in the juice are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide th ro ugh fermentation. The pressure of carbon dioxide increases and forces the 'cap' or grapes upwards. The soaking in carbonic acid gas causes the alcohol to break down natural colourants and tannin and these are absorbed in the subsequent fermentation.

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    The pressure of carbonic acid gas is highest at the top of the vat and the pressure causes metabolism within the grapes. These start to ferment internally, with alcohol being produced and the level of malic acid significantly reduced. Just as important though and a characteristic of this method of wine-making is that the presence of oxygen ensures the retention of o utstanding fruitiness in the aroma and taste. After the carbonic acid has soaked the grapes in a process that takes four to ten days, depending on the type of wine to be produced, the naturally pressed juice or 'vin de goutte' is drawn off. The remaining grape matter is then pressed gently and added to the initial tapping. Some cuvées may make wine consisting solely of the initially tapped natural pressing and these wines can usually be spotted by their 'heavenly' names on the label of 'Paradis'as the French call this sweet, very fruity, and aromatic french wine.

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     When this initial fermentation is completed a second fermentation occurs in which the harsh malic acids are converted to more gentle lactic acid. The young french wine is then ready to drink at once as Beaujolais Nouveau or undergoes further handling to become Beaujolais, Beaujola is Villages, or Crus du Beaujolais.

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  • Chablis and Beaujolais Wine Regions



    Chablis Fine Wine Chardonnay: The only grape allowed for Chablis producing a steely dry, green, acidic wine. The best wines are much richer, with depth and intense flavour although still bone dry.

    Sauvignon Blanc: Used for Sauvignon de St.Bris. The variety is not legal in Chablis which is why the wine has only VDQS status.

    Pinot Noir: Mainly used for red wine production, with some César, Gamay and Tressot.

  • The Beaujolais 'satellites' Wine - French Wine

    The Beaujolais 'satellites'

    Although they do not officially fall under the Beaujolais classification, the following three wine regions produce wines that closely resemble Beaujolais in both character and taste. All three of the red wines are made With the Gamay grape.

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    This ancient vineyard is a victim of the expansion of Lyon. It is a friendly, light, but generous wine with pronounced f ruity nose. Drink this French wine chilled to about 53.6°F (12°C). Chardonnay   and Aligote whites are also produced here.


    This is a very clear, ruby red coloured wine that is strong on fruit and has a light, pleasing taste. Chill this French wine to about 53.6°F (12°C).

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    These are light, friendly wines that are very fruity. The rose is ideal to serve with informal lunches and picnics. The red wine is ideal for warm summer evenings, for instance with a cold buffet. Serve borth French wines at about 53.6°F (12°C).{jcomments on}