2023 Chateau des Pertonnieres – Domaine Dupeuble, Beaujolais Nouveau, France.
The dark but vivid ruby hued 2023 Dupeuble Nouveau is pure and spicy Gamay, bursting from the glass with strawberry, plum and candied cherry fruits, nicely without the cotton candy, banana and bubblegum usually associated with mass produced Beaujolais Nouveau, instead there’s wild pepper, cinnamon and orange peel notes, making for a stylish lighter framed red that you’ll enjoy quaffing during the Holidays. I’ve always had good results with these Dupeuble Nouveau wines, with their juicy acidity and subtle concentration, in fact I’ve even lost a few bottles in the cellar that still drank delightfully well with many years of age on them, pretty impressive for a wine that is supposed to be polished off before the new year. As noted before in my prior reviews, 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, a celebration (in the bottle) of the new vintage we all get to enjoy.
The Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau, as mentioned many times here in my reviews, 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. The soils are primarily a combination of hardened clay, limestone and granite, adding depth of fruit, a touch of earthiness, floral dimension and mineral tones to the wines, even the Nouveau, as seen here. These Dupeuble Nouveau wines, which are from vines farmed close to organic, without the use of any chemicals or synthetic fertilizers and the Dupeuble’s don’t use any extra SO2 during fermentation, they are without question some of the best vintage indicators giving insight into the year, with the 2023 showcasing, in a difficult vintage, the rewards of great farming and terroir! Viva la Gamay! Interestingly, the Dupeuble Nouveau is usually a pre-sale offering and its limited nature makes it harder than most to find and insiders and industry types tend to snatch it up quickly, so don’t wait to get yours.
($22 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive