Mailbag Monday: Thoughts on the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau?

Dear Alleigh:
How is the Nouveau crop going to be this year? You heard anything on it?

Longtime friends and readers know that the third Thursday of November is a holiday for me—it’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day!  Even though I’m well aware the day exists because of fabulous marketing and not necessarily fabulous wine, I’m a proud Beaujolais Nouveau lover (My 2012 review will be posted on Wednesday, but here is a link to my 2011, 2010, and 2009 reviews.).

Drought, frost, and hail caused significant problems for the 2012 European wine grape harvest.  Unfortunately, the Beaujolais region of France, which is where the Gamay grapes used to make Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau are grown, was not spared.  In fact, there are reports that this year’s crop is half of the 2011 harvest.  That means if you’re planning on serving Beaujolais Nouveau at your Thanksgiving dinner table this year, you should probably go grab your wine now.  There are bottles out there, but they won’t be sitting on the shelves for long.

Obviously, a lower yield doesn’t automatically foretell the actual quality of the wine, but it does mean that the worldwide prices may be a little higher for the 2012 vintage of European wine.  When it comes to less expensive wines like the Beaujolais Nouveau, this can have a devastating impact on the wine growers and producers because their margins are so much smaller.

I know this doesn’t really answer the question of how I think the 2012 vintage will taste, which I know is what you’re really getting at, but concerns over Europe’s 2012 vintage have been a big topic of conversation on wine blogs and in traditional wine media.

Question of the Day: Have you purchased this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau?  Did you see a difference in the price over the last few vintages?


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