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Tasting of Beaujolais Nouveau 2003 Vintage


The 2003 vintage will go down in the history books. The harvest bans were called for 14th August, over a fortnight before the forecast date. Never, since 1893, when picking started on 25th August, has the harvest in the Beaujolais region been so early.

Special dispensations meant that the earliest ripening plots hosted the first harvesters from 10th August! The yield was so low that all the grapes had been harvested by the end of August. It's unheard of!

In 2003 the 12 Beaujolais appellations together made up a volume of around 800 000 hl, that is to say 40% less than a normal year (1 300 000 hl). This is the result of the weather conditions throughout the year including a hard frost in the spring, a gale in May and drought and a heat wave in the summer combined with the vinegrowers efforts to control yields.

From January to August the vines were bathed with 300 hours more sunshine than the norm. The consequence being that the sum temperature was doubled. Heat, sunshine and low yield are the characteristics of the 2003 vintage. These three criteria are a quality guarantee for the consumer, already heralding an exceptional vintage.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2003 wears a garnet robe. The colour is deep with lovely purplish tints. The aromas are particularly intense and complex, of very ripe small red fruit like strawberry and raspberry that are almost stewed. These strong fruit aromas are a reminder of 1978 and bring out nuances linked to the terroir. As we move to Beaujolais-Villages the expression is more of small black fruit like blackcurrant and blackberry with a few spicy notes. Added to the fruit scents are floral fragrances of violet for Beaujolais and iris for Beaujolais-Villages. These are rare aromas for Beaujolais Nouveau.

Book early for the Beaujolais Nouveau Nite taking place at Café Le Troquet on Saturday 22 Nov 2003 from 7.30pm to 10pm. Taste the freshly-arrived newly-born Beaujolais Nouveau 2003 and five other Beaujolais wines namely the Beaujolais Villages, Morgon, Brouilly, St-Amour and Fleurie.

Join us for a deliciously sumptuous buffet of Foie Gras Terrine, Pork Rillette, French Saucisson, Parma Ham, Smoked Duck Breast, and some delightful Coq au vin or, Roast Airflown Striploin of Beef, with accompaniment of potato gratin, French beans and fresh green salads, cheeses and tarts and lots of get-together fun!

S$60 nett for members/students of the Alliance Française. S$75 nett for non-members. Call Yvonne/Su at Tel: (65) 6736 1070 for reservations or email:

Content Contributor: LIEN (Alliance Française)



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31 October 2003

Singapore Time