2022 Domaine Dupeuble, Beaujolais Nouveau, France.
The 2022 Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau is delightfully fresh and vibrant with tart cherry, raspberry, plum, strawberry and cranberry fruits without the candy or bubble gum you usually see with Nouveau and or carbonic wines, in fact there’s some depth here, floral notes, cinnamon/clove and some nice savory crunch. Light and lively on the palate this is super tasty stuff that far removed from the industrial and commercial scale bottlings you most commonly find. The Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau is consistently one of the best Nouveau bottlings and a bit more serious, coming from hand tended and harvested old vines vines, all well over 50 years old and some closer to 100 years old that see small yields and high quality fruit. The grapes are fermented naturally with native yeasts and no SO2, seeing a full carbonic maceration and a fermentation that lasts just about a week, before a short two month aging period in tank, after which the Nouveau gets bottled unfined and unfiltered. It’s a simple recipe and regime, but the results are because of the commitment to quality here and the extra attention that the grape saw in the vineyard, where the Dupeuble crew uses natural composting, as well as never using synthetic chemicals, and severe cluster selections at picking time to ensure concentration and flavor intensity. These Dupeuble Nouveau wines are without question some of the best vintage indicators giving insight into the year, with this vivid ruby 2022 boding well for the year in Beaujolais, as well as providing some juicy fun for the harvest and holiday season.
Ghislaine and Stéphane Dupeuble manage this old property, which since 1919 has been called Domaine Dupeuble, but its history goes much further back, dating all the way to 1512, that is in the hamlet of Le Breuil, deep in the southern Beaujolais, set on mostly classic granite soils and perched above a narrow creek. Famous Berkeley importer Kermit Lynch first met Ghislaine and Stéphane’s father, Damien, for lunch in Paris in the late 1980s, where he enjoyed the fresh Dupeuble Gamay, and thus began the annual tradition of blending a special Kermit only Beaujolais Nouveau. Kermit notes that Domaine Dupeuble has grown over the years and is now comprised of one hundred hectares, about forty percent of which is consecrated to vineyards. The Dupeuble family are, as Lynch adds, strong advocates of the lutte raisonnée (meaning as organic as possible, but within reason) approach to vineyard work, they tend their vines without the use of any chemicals or synthetic fertilizers and don’t use SO2 during fermentation. The vineyards, planted primarily to Gamay, face Southeast, South, and Southwest with plots of vines on a combination of primarily clay, limestone and granite that average between 50 and 100 years old, which helps ripen the Gamay and a small parcel of Chardonnay for their rare Beaujolais Blanc bottling. Over the years I’ve become a big fan of Dupeuble’s Nouveau, which is more interesting and soulful than you’d expect, gaining spice, darker fruits and umami with air, in fact, not on purpose, I aged a Dupeuble Nouveau for almost four years and it was still wonderfully delicious, as this 2022 is!
($21 Est.) 89 Points, grapelive