India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Pullman Celebrates Beaujolais Nouveau

Posted: Monday, 10 December 2012 13:14

Pullman Celebrates Beaujolais Nouveau

December 10: The newly opened Pullman Central Park Gurgaon uncorked an exclusive consignment of 200 bottles of the George Duboeuf Beaujolais nouveau 2012 last Friday when the Delhi Wine Club members joined the French community and the hotel business partners at the Pullman hotel and raised their glasses all along an “à la française” evening. Joachim Lefaure, a certified French Sommelier and a member of the Delhi Wine Club reports.

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Click For Large ViewEvery year, the 3rd Thursday of November, the new Beaujolais is celebrated with all types of innovative parties and events all around the world. For instance, a spa resort in Japan organized new Beaujolais infused bath. Less extravagant (but far more tasty), three parties were organized by Accor, Air France and Atout France (France Tourism Development Agency) to welcome the Beaujolais nouveau in India- Pullman Central Park Gurgaon (29 Nov), Novotel Techpark Bengaluru (30 Nov) and Sofitel Mumbai (4 Dec) with 200 bottles at each venue.   

Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau

Between the city of Lyon and the Burgundy vineyards, lies the hilly Beaujolais region. Kingdom of the Gamay grape, Beaujolais has 50% of its world production concentrated on 18,000hA! Hence, it is producing mainly red wine (96%). As everywhere in France, in order to carry an origin a wine has to be made with grapes coming from a specified territory and strictly made by following all rules applying to the appellation (grapes, viticulture practices, yield, maturity level, wine making, ageing, quality level etc).

Beaujolais has a pyramidal organization of the appellations. The Beaujolais appellation is the base of the pyramid; it can be produced all around the region. Above is Beaujolais-villages where wines are produced in more restricted areas. At the top of the pyramid is Crus Beaujolais, covering between 300 and 1300 hA in specified villages: Chénas, Saint-Amour, Côte de Brouilly, Chiroubles, Regnié, Juliénas, Moulin à Vent, Fleurie, Morgon and Brouilly.

Beaujolais, Beaujolais-villages and the 10 'Crus' are aged in tanks or casks, their style varies according to the vineyards location and winemaking. Generalizing Beaujolais wines as 'light style' is a common mistake made even by professionals. Some can age for years; I have enjoyed a few times and found  'Crus' from the '80s simply stunning.

Click For Large ViewThe word 'nouveau' can only be attached to Beaujolais or Beaujolais village as a legal mention informing consumers that the considered wine is an early release. The Beaujolais nouveau and the Beaujolais-villages nouveau can be sold to final consumers from the 3rd Thursday of November at 00H00, only a few weeks after the harvest. To be ready for the D-day, producers race against time. The handpicked grapes are quickly processed and after only 4 to 5 days of  fermentation, are bottled and sent all around France and across the globe.

In 2011, 35 million bottles were produced around half of which were exported to 110 countries. To reach the main export markets (Japan and the US) on time, the producers are allowed to release consignments 38 days before this festive day (3rd Thursday of November). The nouveau wine is an extremely aromatic festive wine drunk only end November, it has to be enjoyed straight after its release. Other wine regions have these practices but with a lesser success and the consumption remains mainly local; wines are generally named “primeur” (not to be confused with the Bordeaux en-primeur sales of famous growths) like Touraine Primeur & Muscadet primeur in the Loire Valley, Gaillac primeur in the South-West.

Why the 3rd Thursday of November

The question came up a few times during the night at Pullman. Even if some might think that Beaujolais nouveau is a purely marketed product, the roots of the release date bring us back centuries ago. In the middle age, due to the lack of technology to preserve and limitation in efficient transportation, wines were mainly consumed locally and drunk as quickly as possible. Inevitably, wines were getting spoiled quickly, resulting in fresh wine shortage half of the year. Hence, the local populations celebrated new wine released.

Despite wine bottling innovation, faster ways of transportation and a better understanding of wine preservation the tradition remains. Till a century back, nothing was regulated and merchants were transporting modest quantities of Nouveau wines still in fermentation in order to reach consumption places before the others.

The agitated first part of the 20th century, forced the State to control the releasing date in order to protect and ensure sufficient supply to the Army. Finally with more stables eras, in November 1951, the Beaujolais producers got the right to release their wine earlier on the condition of mentioning “Beaujolais nouveau” on the label and the wine as we know it today was born. For a while, the releasing dates varied from 1st to 30th November; certainly tired to discuss every year about this matter, the 15th was chosen. The generous 1985 vintage forced all Beaujolais producers to hold until the 3rd Thursday of November!

So.... how is the 2012

Click For Large ViewThat’s the question invading the French media on the the D-day!

In 2012, the growing season was difficult. According to the figures provided by Inter-Beaujolais, the overall production of the region is down from 45% to 16% for the Beaujolais nouveau. Still 30 million bottles of Beaujolais nouveau left the cellars. Out of them, a small consignment of 600 bottles reached India. The French, not at all frightened by the logistics and paperwork manage to offer a 'like home' celebration to their partners.

No doubt, it was a well attended event. When generally event planners are desperately watching their clocks and wondering when the guest will finally show up, the Pullman hotel was packed at 8pm! The joyful crowd of 250 people was counting the French and Cuban Ambassadors, a number of officials and key partners. All were roaming and enjoying French delicacies displayed as a village market. Several themed counters were animating the Epicurean buffet.

An Oyster bar. A bakery corner displayed more than 13 varieties of bread freshly made at the hotel included Fougasse, Pain de campagne and baguettes. A “charcuterie” offered a large selection of ham, saucisson. The “fromager” corner was a unique selection of imported cheese such Sainte-Maure de Touraine, Abondance, Fourme d’Ambert, Brie and Brillat Savarin. The patisserie showcased 10 classics like the mousse au chocolat, crêpe, éclair, crème brulée et macaroons. The “primeur” (it is also the name given to the retailer of vegetables!) was showcasing vegetarian dishes with a Mediterranean touch.

To perfect the atmosphere, an accordionist entertained through the evening; an indoor pétanque field was created where the non-French were introduced to the traditional game. The attending staff was got enrolled in the theme as they were wearing Beaujolais aprons and a traditional French beret. The Pullman team achieved a fantastic evening, creating a festive and authentic French evening. Whispers from the crowd were highly complementing the quality of the food and friendly atmosphere.

George Duboeuf Beaujolais nouveau 2012

Click For Large ViewThe wine chosen for the celebration was George Duboeuf Beaujolais nouveau 2012. The French sommelier at Pullman, Stephanie Jan who incidentally is a member of the Delhi Wine Club, described the wine as: intense aromas of raspberry, cranberry, bilberry, currant and tagada strawberries, lively, with a surprising viscosity and fine small tannins.

I have been quite surprised by two facts: how clean and francs were the aromas and the low level of residual C02 often characteristic of the primeurs wine. Years ago, majority of them were falling into the aromatic trap given by the yeast (the media banana aroma) and slightly fizzy due to residual carbon dioxide naturally produced by the fermentation. The lower level of CO2 increases the roundness and reduces the astringency. It is why I would recommend serving this particular style at a higher temperature rather than the 12°C-14°C usually advised. The Pullman team got it right and served the wine at 16°C which was well enjoyed by the participants who emptied the whole of the 200 bottle allocation through the evening.

Bye Bye Beaujolais Nouveau. See you next year. Still 11 months to go but guests have already marked the event for next year not only to welcome the Beaujolais Nouveau but also to enjoy “a piece of France”.

Joachim Lefaure
December 8, 2012

The event was to be held initially on the 15th, the third day of November but had to be postponed by 2 weeks ostensibly due to logistics issues-the bane of most wine importers. However, credit goes to the Tasting Pleasures in Chennai, a newly founded organisation by Chinmaya Raja. Congratulations to Raja who organised it for its members on the actual date of the fest.

The celebratory French ritual was held at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC on December 4 when the vin de primeur wine from Beaujolais was uncorked by Bernd Schneider, General Manager, Sofitel Mumbai BKC & Area Head, India at a glittering event at the Grand Salon Opera as informed to delWine- editor
Tags: Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais, Pullman, France, Gurgaon, George Duboeuf, Beaujolais-villages. Cru Beaujolais, Sofitel, Tasting Pleasures, Chennai


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet