Beaujolais haters, take notice: 2015 might just be the vintage to turn you around. For the longest time, words like “bubble gum”, “pear drop”, and even “nail varnish” were used to describe Beaujolais. But no more: new descriptors for the 2015 vintage include “deep”, “dense”, and “balanced” — a ringing endorsement from James Suckling.
According to Suckling, the 2015 vintage draws parallels to the legendary 1947 vintage, which had record dryness and heat, leading to unusually rich, powerful, and age-worthy wines. On the palate, 2015 Beaujolais will actually drink more like a Rhone syrah or Grenache. The alcohol levels are also high at 14-15%.
Suckling recommends aging 2015 Beaujolais for three years to let the tannins soften, and allow the wine take on a profile closer to Pinot Noir, with aromas of dried fruit, spice, and forest flowers. The biggest challenge will probably be for consumers to shake their “drink early” mindset that Beaujolais brings. For example, Beaujolais nouveau is bottled after just a few weeks of fermentation, and then released the third Thursday of November. In the U.S., that’s just in time to pop open along with the Thanksgiving turkey.
With great bottles to be found at $25 or less, wine aficionados should hurry to snap up whatever remains of the 2015 vintage.
- The Complicated State of Beaujolais – and Why You Shouldn’t Miss the Fantastic 2015s – James Suckling