So, we know who picked the first grapes in the amazing Niagara vintage of 2010 (Paul Pender at Tawse, chardonnay for his bubbly wines) and we’re pretty sure who’s picking last (Jean-Laurent Groux at Stratus) but do you know who’s first to put a finished bottle of 2010 on store shelves?
Well, no need to guess. It’s Reif Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake with the Nov. 18 release of its fruity “Gamay Nouveau” wine called The Fool.
It will be unveiled along with other entries from around the world during the annual Beaujolais Nouveau release at more than 400 LCBO stores across the province.
The annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau and other nouveau-style wines on the third Thursday of every November is celebrated around the world. Nouveau wines are traditionally among the fastest-selling products at the LCBO with most of the stock sold out in three to four weeks.
This is Reif’s second vintage of the The Fool, made of 100% gamay from the 2010 vintage.
The clever and modern label portrays the light hearted and fun nature of the wine and is inscribed with the words: “The Fool, with all his worldly possessions in one small pack, is always on his way to a brand new beginning.
Incredible to think that a few weeks before, grapes for the The Fool were just being picked in the vineyard.
I just sampled this wine and I can say it’s as good as any release of Beaujolais Nouveau I’ve tried in recent years. It’s bursting with fresh berry fruit, smooth on the palate, and offers up simple pleasure for $11 a bottle.
Itâ€™s a tradition every November for wine drinkers to raise a glass of nouveau to salute the yearâ€™s first wines. The Fool joins a big crowd of “nouveau” wines also being released on Nov. 18. Here’s what’s also available:
â€¢ Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau ($14)
â€¢ Duboeuf Gamay Nouveau ($9)
â€¢ Primeur Catalan Syrah Merlot, ($10)
â€¢ Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau ($15 Vintages)
â€¢ Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau ($15 Vintages)
â€¢ Mezzacorona Novio Vino Novello ($10)
â€¢ Negrar Novello del Veneto IGT ($10)
The nouveau wine tradition began in the vineyards of Franceâ€™s Beaujolais region more than 100 years ago when winemakers developed a quick maturing wine to toast the completion of the harvest with their workers.
The result was a wine that they dubbed Beaujolais Nouveau or Beaujolais Primeur.Â News of this tradition spread and the annual release of nouveau wines eventually evolved into an international celebration.Â In the 1980s, Italy began exporting nouveau-style wines called vino novello and Ontario has, in some years, produced gamay nouveau wines.
The nouveau wines will be available starting at 9:30 or 10 a.m. on Nov. 18, depending on individual store opening hours. While there is more in stock this year, each LCBO store receives a limited quantity of these popular wines, so customers are encouraged to shop early for the best selection.
For more information on the 2010 nouveau wines, go online to www.lcbo.com/service.