Beaujolais Nouveau Day is marked in France on the third Thursday in November with fireworks, music and festivals. Under French law, the wine is released at 12:01 a.m., just weeks after the wine's grapes have been harvested. Parties are held throughout the country and further afield to celebrate the first wine of the season.
Beaujolais Nouveau owes its easy drinkability to its unique winemaking process.
By law, all grapes in the region must be harvested by hand. The wine is then made using carbonic maceration, whole berry anaerobic fermentation which emphasizes fruit flavours without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.
With carbonic maceration, the grapes are not crushed like they are for most red wine. Rather, the grapes are loaded into a large (think 75,000 litre) sealed container that is filled with carbon dioxide. Grapes gently crushed at the bottom of the container by the weight of the grapes start to ferment, emitting more CO2.
All this carbon dioxide causes fermentation to take place inside the uncrushed grapes (without access to oxygen, hence "anaerobic fermentation"). The resulting wine is fresh, fruity, and very low in tannins.
Perhaps no other appellation is so closely associated with one producer as Beaujolais Nouveau is with Georges Dubeouf.
Once again this year he has managed to make a wine that is brimming with juicy raspberry/cherry fruit, soft and so so very easy to drink.