David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a barely fermented Ontario red that’s worth the “nouveau” fuss
Generation Seven 2012 Nouveau
$11.95 | Niagara-on-the-Lake | 87 points
This year’s crop of beaujolais nouveau bottles arrives today at the LCBO (it is the third Thursday of November, after all), but there’s really no compelling reason to rush out and grab an armload of the barely fermented 2012s. I quickly sampled the nouveaus from France, Italy and Ontario on Tuesday at the LCBO tasting lab, and this context showed just how average “nouveau” wines can be. The beaujolais in particular were scratchy, starchy and thin, perhaps due to a rather wretched 2012 season in France. In Ontario, however, the 2012 vintage was spectacular. Add the fact that Château des Charmes (which makes Generation Seven) is an experienced grower of gamay (the beaujolais grape), and this one becomes the natural choice.
The taste: It pours brilliant ruby-purple with fairly good depth. There is a pretty bloom of roses, strawberry and raspberry on the nose, with almost vanilla-like sweetness in the background. It’s mid-weight, smooth, almost creamy, with just enough tart acidity to bolster and balance the finish. There is some bitterness, but almost no tannin. Moderate to good length. Easily the best of the bunch.
How to drink it: With a decent chill and a plate of charcuterie, pâtés and mild cheeses. Nouveau will not be dead by Christmas, as lore would have it, but nor is it meant to cellared. The youthfully exuberant fruit is nouveau’s raison d’être, so enjoy it sooner rather than later. This one could last a year or two.