2023 Beaujolais Nouveau – steady as she goes!

Update 4.11.2023(1.11.2023)billn

2023 Beaujolais Nouveau

So – how important is Beaujolais Nouveau today?

It may surprise you to learn that in 2022, nearly a quarter of all Beaujolais’ 13,500 hectares of production, ended up in bottles that were labelled Nouveau.

That was 16,500,000 bottles of Nouveau – and that’s a lot – it’s equivalent to 85% of all the production of the Burgundy region from Chablis to the ‘border’ with Beaujolais!

France takes 60% of the bottles but the classic markets of Japan, the US and the UK, together, still bought more than 4 million bottles last year.

That being the case, it’s still worth trying to find some good ones!

The 2023 vintage:

The vine-growth in 2023 started in the ‘new classic’ style – ie quite early and in good conditions due to a mild start to the year. This year, there was hardly any worry about frost and there followed practically ideal conditions for flowering. This early debut of growth, followed by the summer heat, ensured that it was another earlier harvesting year – from about the 1st September – so, versus 2021, we certainly had the potential for nearly an extra month of elevage before any Nouveau bottling got underway – but how, exactly, did the post-flowering year go?

In 2023, the Beaujolais vigneron(ne)s liked to talk about the weather; there’s nothing unusual about ‘farmers’ talking about the weather, right? Of course not! But, as we approached the harvest, there was a clear focus to most of these conversations – and that focus was the rain – or rather the lack of rain.

The crus in the north got a couple of decent rainfalls in July/August but to the south not – here it stayed dry from mid-June right up to the harvest – in fact the further south you went in Beaujolais, the drier it got, reducing the berry size and therefore the yields – unsurprisingly, it was the young vines that particularly suffered in these conditions. The producers point to the counter-balance of the daytime heat with cooler nights – ‘so the wines have a nice aromatic balance – not too warm!

Proportionately, Beaujolais Nouveau is made in higher quantities from vines in the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages as these labels are a little less attractive to Beaujolais buyers than those wines labelled in the name of ‘the crus’ – such as Fleurie or Saint Amour. So it is the wines from the south, whose volumes were most severely limited by the summer drought, who provide the bulk of the juice for these Nouveaux – it was an important point for this tasting.

The best wines…

2023 Beaujolais NouveauIn the the heartland of Beaujolais Nouveau production – ie the south of Beaujolais – the, drought-related, brake on the potential harvest volume has clearly been of benefit for anyone with an interest in drinking this stuff. That’s because any excess volume usually translates into significant quality variation between those who cropped at the maximum and those who were more modest.

2023’s more modest harvest volumes have brought some consistency to the wines – a little like in 2022. The Beaujolais Nouveaux are less regular than the Beaujolais Villages Nouveaux but as in most years the latter category come with not just more depth of flavour – they come with more structure too – and in many cases I’d be looking to keep, and drink, the villages over a longer period than the campaign for Nouveau might suggest.

I have noted a few more great wines (below) than in 2022 but overall, it’s quite a similar number for 97 wines tasted this year.

97 wines tasted – is that a lot? There are probably more like 200-250 different bottlings and/or cuvée names in this category – and good luck to you if you can find some of them in your local markets. I really struggle in Switzerland – and the anonymous (single!) bottling of Switzerland’s Coop supermarket is, historically, an awful one – but I’ll try it again this year – hopefully without needing to pour (more than!) half of the bottle away!

Good hunting!
All the wines were tasted and selected blind. It was only after the tasting that I got a copy of the spreadsheet with the names to match to the numbered bottles:

5 Great wines for their labels
One more than last year:
Jean Loron, Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé
Agamy, Domaine de Solémy Beaujolais Nouveau
Manoir du Carra Famille Sambardier, Dame Nature Beaujolais Villages
Famille Descombe, Granite Beaujolais Villages
Richard Rottiers Beaujolais Villages

10 Excellent Wines – Beaujolais Nouveau
Two less than in 2022:
Jean Loron, Rift 69
Romy, Le Mouflet
Georges Duboeuf
Jean-Yves Sonnery Domaine de Baluce
Domaine des Prévelières
Domaine Pierre André Dumas
Aurélie et Fabien Romany
Domaine des Prévelières, Border’Wine
Baptiste Aufranc
Célia et David Large, Zombi

9 Excellent Wines – Beaujolais Villages Nouveau
Just one more than in 2022:
Domaine Gaget, Vinum Memoria
Georges Duboeuf
Domaine de la Madone Bérerd Père et Fils
Nicolas Boudeau
Domaine des Terres Vivantes, La Lutine
Cave Vignerons de Bel Air, Natural
Château de Corcelles
Domaine Desprès
Julien Aucagne

Click on ‘Read More…’ below to see the full notes for the (almost) 100 wines in the order that they were (blind) tasted on Halloween 2023:

2023 Beaujolais Nouveau
2023 Beaujolais Nouveau – a few, random, interesting labels…

Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé

There were 7…

Jean Loron
Pale. Full, pretty, inviting. Round – juicy – delicious and quite saline finishing – yes!

Domaine Romy Le Mouflet
Broader less interesting nose – more bubblegum. In the mouth too – less attractive but fuller

Famille Chermette, Griottes
A little more colour. The nose more sombre. Full scale in the mouth – lots of intensity but still way behind the first wine

Vignerons des Pierres Dorées, Terra Iconia
Paler again. Deep – a little rubbery. Mouth-filling, silky – quite generous. The finish is quite saline. And okay.

P. Ferraud & Fils
Pale, pretty and energetic. Full, vibrant – that’s very good.

Domaine Ruet
An airy and quite inviting nose. More attack, more intensity – but the finish is quite good and better as you progress through the length – very good.

Round, generous, quite a good nose. Stricter in the finish but long and saline

2023 Beaujolais Nouveau

Moillard, Sans Sulfites
Ooh – deep, concentrated and inviting! In the mouth fresh, silky and generous – already a faint oxidation but delicious

Domaine du Baron de l’Ecluse, Plaisirs de Pégase
Wider and more perfumed. Fresher too, juicy wine – with intensity – no comfort but a lot of flavour – yum!

Mickael Nesme
Deeper, narrower, dark red fruit. Too much gas but the finishing flavour is good.

Steeve Charvet
Less colour – also an airy nose, red berry fruit. Supple, wide, complex almost a creamy depth to this fruit – lactic if you don’t like but I think this very good!

de la Simonde, Essen’Ciel
Fresh and broad – quite good. Fresh, incisive – actually a little austere – id be waiting a few months for this so it’s not a good fit for Nov 16 – but behind is a good wine.

Jean Loron, Rift 69
Lots of color. Full, inviting, fine nose. Full in the mouth too – juicy, complex and delicious

Domaine Perol, Abracada Boum
Also lots of colour. Thinner nose – airy. Direct, juicy wine – not as austere as I was expecting but still a bit – good wine

Trenel Bio
Lots of colour once more. A saline width. Hmm – fluid, intense, drying tannin – better in some months but could be a very good one…

Terroirs et Talents Pierre Dupond, Vini l’ourson
Lots of colour – with an intense nose. Clean, incisive, concentrated wine – less austere – excellent…

Domaine JP Rivière
Bordeaux bottle. Deep colour. Depth of aroma but less interesting after. Hmm – that’s lovely over the palate though, complex – a little bîscuity and broad – supple, velour – excellent.

Anthony Charvet, Beaujo Beau
Higher toned red fruit on the nose. Attack,of the red fruit. A little astringent but fun and clean – tasty wine.

Romy, Le Mouflet
Lots of colour again. Super nose, deep, complex and with inviting high tones. Supple, concentrated – you could wait – this is top.

Jean Loron, Tradition VV
Higher toned red fruits again – very attractive. Wider, fresher, quite incisive wine – almost to wait for but it’s excellent!

Georges Dubeouf
Dark colour. Good freshness and complexity. Open, energetic, slightly drying but great shape and depth of pretty flavour – that’s lovely

Château Cambon
A little less colour. Red berry fruit aromas. Gassy, but layered and delicious with a mouth-watering saline finish.

Vignerons des Pierres Dorées, La rose pourpre
Lots of colour. Breadth of cliché but attractive Beaujolais aroma. Silky, mouth-filling I’d like a bit more width to this flavour but the finish is lovely.

Jean-Yves Sonnery Domaine de Baluce
A little more modest colour. Fine complexity of aroma – that’s very pretty. Less sweet than some but an explosion of fine flavour over the palate and a finish that’s very moreish. Yes!

Domaine des Prévelières, Border’Wine
Fresh, forward, berry. Full in the mouth, tasty and delicious – yes – a great finish!

Domaine Perol, Le P’tit Nouveau
Very fresh and saline nose. Tons of CO2. Energy of course – the wine behind is very good.

Vignerons des Pierres Dorées, Terra Iconia
Broad and attractive – very BJ. Gassy, complex, tannic – some drying tannin – for keeping!

Domaine de Foretal
Attractive and complex. A width of fresh flavour, like the last with a little dryness. But the last flavours are easy and attractive.

Famille Chermette, Griottes
Easy, pretty, maybe a hint of white mushroom. Sweet, attractively full-flavoured. That’s a tasty wine with lots of finishing complexity.

Domaine Pertuizet
Fresh and floral perfumed – that’s very nice. Direct, great shape, intense – a fine one…

Domaine Pierre André Dumas
A smaller but fine nose. Mouth-filling, juicy, fine energy here. Lovely finishing – I think this lovely

Aurélie et Fabien Romany
Another smaller nose – but fine. Direct, sleek, fine texture. Not as open as many but very finely made and tasty.

Domaine de Milhomme, Cœur de Milhomme
Less colour. Slightly reductive. Very reductive but the shape and texture are fine – carafe!

Domaine des Voûtes Dorées
Less colour. Attack – breadth, silky wine. Lots of red fruit – juicy – slightly austere but tasty.

Julien Mathon, Toutencanon
Lots of colour. Broad, fine, darker fruit in this case. Lots of gas – there’s plenty of flavour depth and juicy finishing bit the gas is way too much.

Famille Girin
Dark, deep a little narrow nose. Mouth-filling and energetic, BJN but with energetic depth – very good.

Paul André Brossette, Empreinte
Now that’s a nose with a pretty vibration of aroma – inviting. Some gas but borderline not too much. Hmm, this juicy finish is lovely with a small tannic velour – lovely.

Agamy, Domaine de Solémy
Deep colour. Concentrated but open notes of dark fruit and florals. Broad, concentrated wine but always fresh – great shape too – Bravo!

Frédéric Berne
A smaller, redder nose. Incisive, direct, with cordial style finishing intensity. I like it a lot!

Vignerons de Bel Air
A deep nose, almost a little cocoa-powder depth. Open and fresh – like the last but with more width and a little less flavour intensity – the finish is lovely, though you will note the late arriving velour of drying tannin.

Ferraud P et Fils
Deep colour. Narrow but dark and perfumed fruit nose. Mouth-filling, juicy wine. The finish is lovely. This is a very good one!

Vins de Pizay, La réserve du maitre de chais
Deep and dark – quite vibrant nose. Extra fluidity – maybe some salinity too, the finish just a little more austere than the last.

Château de Corcelles
A nose with a lot of salinity – less fruit. In the mouth quite good though. Finishing easy.

Domaine des Marrans
Also plenty of salinity and more red berry. Supple, nicely fits the mouth. Not special but tasty…

Domaine des Prévelières
Very forward red berry – but nice. In the mouth it’s a similar profile – different but very tasty – yum

P. Ferraud & Fils, Cuvée d’autrefois
Fresh and with good width. Supple, indeed muscular, dark fruit. This is very good.

Les Souriants Maxime et Damien Troncy, Sourire de nouveau
Almost effervescent nose. Of course, gas! But broad and tasty finishing – almost some oak impression here too. Very different but very good.

Château de Pizay
A little more savoury nose. Relaxed and tasty over the palate the last notes fading but very good.

Dominique Piron
Deep colour. A modest intensity nose. Fresh, wide a hint austere but also complex and juicy – a lovely finish here.

Baptiste Aufranc
Fresh but smaller nose – then a surprise of fine flowers. Mouth-filling width, lots of velour to this texture but not too drying. A small but excellent last flavour – yum!

Célia et David Large, Zombi
Black wax topped. Deep and with complexity – good. Hmm, that’s also got a very relaxed, low sulfur vibe. And long too – super in its more natural genre.

Domaine de la Grosse Pierre
Fresher, more direct and incisive. Fresh energy here – juicy tasty wine!

2023 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau

Heavier bottles, often-time with wax too – hopefully a wine upgrade too!

Famille Mélinon
Narrow but pretty red fruit. Supple, depth of flavour, fine texture – that’s a lovely wine. Vibrant, saline a hint austere but perfumed finishing – moreish!

Domaine de Romarand, Néo
Dark wine from a very heavy bottle. The nose spiced and dark. Lots of CO2 but lots of flavour dimension too. Impressive and even a little floral finishing – but a wine for keeping 6+ months before drinking – Lovely!

Domaine Burnichon
Very deep colour. A width of interest but not a large-scale nose. Supple but at the same time structural.Fine finishing flavour juicy with a hint of salinity. That’s another for keeping 6 months…

Domaine Gaget, Vinum Memoria
Red wax topped. A depth of redder fruit. Fine texture – that’s a lovely mouthfeel. Intense, fine structure, long – that’s a baby but an excellent one!

Julien Bertrand
A smaller nose but one of fine purity – lovely. Mouth-filling energetic, some tannic velour and quite long. A little structural austerity today – so for keeping a while but lovely…

Georges Dubeouf
Deeper colour again. Good volume and dimension of aromas. Larger scale, still open, velour again. Fine dark juicy fruit finishing – a super finish. This ‘so far’ typical Villages extra structural austerity but excellent wine.

Domaine Ruet
A wider nose – not deep but panoramic. Hmm, lovely melting style in the mouth – the slightly dry velour of the tannin. An a fine intensity of finishing flavour. Lovely…

Château de Lavernette, Le Jeune
Red wax topped. Lighter colour. An open but more diffuse nose. In the mouth a little more savoury in style. Fresh finishing – more natural – a bit less freshness and purity vs most though.

Château de Vaux
Deep colour. Sulphites on the nose. But dark-fruited and juicy in the mouth but not with a tasty complexity – my first (and it turned out to be the only) ‘no’ of the day…

Vibrant, fresh width of aroma. Hmm a wine that slowly settles then melts over the palate. It just keeps getting better and better over the palate – started modest, finishing really fine – lovely.

Domaine Joncy
Depth plus a width a fine red berry. Structural but not drying – I like the shape and texture of this a little acidulated gooseberry style. Long and very tasty!

Domaine Longère
A smaller but very fine nose – beautiful finesse and purity! Structure, a little grainy tannin and a vibrancy of energetic finishing flavour – the nose is, by far, the best part but overall it’s still a lovely wine.

Domaine de la Madone Bérerd Père et Fils
Also a calm and pure, very attractive nose. More silky and wide with some middle generosity – the finish precise and tasty – a fine package!

André Colonge et Fils, Gatsby Gamay
Ooh – very perfumed – that’s lovely. Good shape in the mouth fine purity of flavour – narrow but absorbing – a lovely wine…

Manoir du Carra Famille Sambardier, Dame Nature
Another beautifully perfumed nose. Supple, mouth-filling – more saline, and an easy slide into this tasty finish – not outstanding in any direction – but a complete package – bravo!

A smaller, more saline nose. Lots of energy and high-toned flavour complexity. A small but fine finish. A lovely wine.

Domaine des Crais
A heavy bottle but not such a deep colour – the nose is also has modest intensity but it’s fine. IN the mouth a bundle of fresh energy – red fruit energy – not super concentrated but fine finishing – though a small finishing savoury note like the bottle has been open a few hours.

Nicolas Boudeau
Hmm – darker perfume but very perfumed. Sweeter wine – mouth-filling with some tannic velour. The structure sticks to the gums but very tasty all the same. That’s a super wine and one I’d keep for a few months!

Château des Maladrets Lacroix JP et P
Plenty of colour. An open but more saline, less fruit nose. Juicy dark fruit in the mouth though – long fading finish – It’s just a nose short of recommending today…

Domaine des Nugues Gelin Gilles, Sans Soufre
More aromatic depth, fewer higher tones. Good intensity and incisive character – almost silky – a slowly melting, fine, finish. Another that’s just a nose short of a recommendation today.

Château de L’Eclair
Redder fruit, precise and more open than the last with a modest floral accent too. Full, complex, accommodating flavour. A small but tasty finish – lovely wine.

Domaine du Clos du Fief Tête Père et Fils
Deeper – impressive aromatic volume. Mouth-filling, structural shaped – finishing well and quite long – but this is a wine to wait a year for!

Domaine des Combiers Laurent Savoye
A tighter nose – some high tones but not expressive – the next sniff bringing floral perfume – yes! Some gas. But broad flavour with fine energy only finish disappoints with a little savoury character that I associate with some time open.

Famille Descombe, Granite
Dark fruit with flashes of extra complexity that’s always changing. Broad across the palate. Velour texture – lovely growing intensity and finishing complexity – that’s a great finish – bravo!

Domaine des Terres Vivantes, La Lutine
Good aromatic dimension and purity. Broad and intense but here the velour is more drying – definitely a wine for keeping 12 months. Super intense finishing but for keeping!

Cave Vignerons de Bel Air, Natural
Pretty, precis dark fruit aromas – quite forward. Intense in the mouth relatively silky too – just a small grain of tannin but not particularly drying. Intense and juicy finishing – you should wait but you could also drink this excellent wine now!

After lunch! :

Dominique Piron
Fresh, energetic red fruit. Mouth-filling and full of energy – the finish a bit more mineral and graphite in style. That’s a very good wine!

Richard Rottiers
A veneer of aromatic width here – quite attractive. A small bead of gas but then broad and full of fine flavour energy. Super finishing intensity – that’s a winner!

Maison Jambon
A very open width of aroma – some darker berry in here. Lovely incisive start though the acidity is very slightly strict. Fine finishing intensity though – that’s super.

Domaine Oedipoda
High tones – suggesting but not quite delivering some florals. Gas! The flavour energy is super but clearly due to the gas the finish is of older (longer opened) wine.

Vignobles Jambon, Pure
Dark, cooking fruit. In the mouth a seductive texture – velour, not drying. The finish is very good. That’s another lovely wine.

Patricia et Bernard Jomain, A cœur joie
A narrower but pure red fruit nose. Broad and forward red fruit energy in the mouth – a little strict – but only a little!

Château de Corcelles
A smaller but sweet and pure nose. Mouth-filling, cool fruit – broad and really very pretty – lovely wine!

Domaine de la Milleranche
Fine dark fruit energy here. Nicely incisive with a breadth of flavour and some finishing salinity too – that’s another lovely wine.

Domaine de Croifolie
An open and fresh very BJ nose. Fine mouth-filling shape – there’s concentration here too. The finish is smaller but persistent, more saline. It’s a very good wine.

Romuald Petit
Rounder and fresh. Good incisive wine – then with width. The structure has a hint of dry tannin but the flavour energy is lovely – again with a twist of finishing saline austerity – but again moreish!

Domaine des Nugues
A small but fresh and pure nose. Larger scale, full of energy and great ‘flavour energy’ too. Again a little austere and structural finishing but still delicious – it’s a villages clearly!

Domaine de Colette, Natur’Elle
Red wax topped. Not as deep coloured as many. Some herbacity but also a lot of interesting complexity. Supple and silky really complex – a wine that’s got more borderline ripeness but also is properly engaging – Lovely.

Domaine Desprès
Dark and very attractive. Large-scale – great dimension of flavour. That’s a great finish too – bravo!

Julien Aucagne
Hmm – complex and very appealing nose. Round, fine texture a more fluid style – lovely – a fine fading intensity too. I like and it will keep!

Agamy, Tradition Louis Tête
Round, sweet, attractive Beaujolais. In the mouth too – full, cushioned, very tasty wine- A hint of finishing austerity but still moreish – lovely.

Domaine des Chers
Clear glass bottle. Some red fruit and floral energy for this nose. A little richness to this texture and flavour. Broad and intense finishing with a small crust of salinity. That’s a lovely wine.

Nadège et Emmanuel Fellot, Vieilles-Vignes
Airy higher tones. Some middle impact here – there’s plenty of fresh volume to this flavour with a good finish – lovely.

Les Vins du Penlois, A l’ancienne
A more red-fruit nose – that’s attractive. Lots of CO2. The flavour slowly becoming more apparent the finish a little more meagre but still quite long.

Les Vins du Penlois, Tu m’fais tourner la tête
A smaller more floral nose. A little austerity but silky and slowly long. Good!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “2023 Beaujolais Nouveau – steady as she goes!”

  1. John Shepardson17th November 2023 at 5:26 amPermalinkReply

    Thank you Bill, I enjoy seeing your review each year. I hate to admit it, but I am a Nouveau BJ Admirer and look forward to this day each year.

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