Although Beaujolais may have up to 12.5 degrees of alcohol, it should always taste lively and fruity. The colour is a youthful, violetty red, and it is one of the only red wines to actually taste "grapey", bursting with natural fruit from the Gamay grape. There is always a refreshing acidity, which makes the wine all the more drinkable, and no discernible tannin.
The Beaujolais appellation covers a total of 23,920 acres, of which 23,450 are to the north of Lyon in the Rhone department and only 470 to the south of Macon in the Saone-et-Loire department. The region known as "the Beaujolais" is the most southerly vineyard region in Burgundy, whose vineyards total 53,250 acres, and include Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages and the ten "crus" of Beaujolais. The area is divided into the Haut-Beaujolais in the north, with a clayey-sandy topsoil on a schistous-granite base, from which come all the Beaujolais-Villages and the "crus", and the Bas-Beaujolais to the south, with a more limestone-clayey soil, producing Beaujolais and the young, fruity wine known as Beaujolais "Nouveau" or Beaujolais "Primeur". These latter wines should be drunk as soon as released and even Beaujolais is best drunk within the year after the vintage, to enjoy its lively fruit. Labouré Roi's production averages 22,000 cases .
The grapes are hand-harvested usually in mid-September from vines close planted to between 4,000 and 5,000 vines per acre. Once picked, the bunches are placed without crushing into fermentation vats which may be of wood or concrete. The weight of the grapes at the top presses on those at the bottom to produce free run juice which is pumped over. The alcoholic fermentation is short, 4-6 days, and the grapes are then pressed to extract the rest of the juice and the wine pumped into vats where the malo-lactic or secondary fermentation is encouraged to take place. Fermentation will be over by early November, and the wine destined for the "Nouveau" market will be bottled, while the rest will remain in vat until early the next year. While the wine keeps well in vat or barrel during the winter, it does not benefit from aging in bottle.
Young red with violet tints
Blend of red berry fruits
Jammy fruit, lively acidity, very quaffable
Always serve cool, around 50-55 Fahrenheit. On warm days Beaujolais, even though it is a red wine, should be placed in the refrigerator.Drink with cold cuts, pate, chicken, light meats, soft creamy cheese.