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We always buy the Nouveau around Thanksgiving and enjoy it through the holiday season. Usually the only ones to hand are the Duboeuf and Drouhin. This year the Long-Suffering Husband came home with two interesting, unusual bottles we had not tried before. Not only that, but they were on sale.


These were both from last year’s stock. Of course Nouveau is supposed to be drunk young, so we were a bit worried about whether these comparatively decrepit bottles would still be pleasing or even drinkable.


Domaine Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Nouveau 2012

I was charmed by the Domaine Manoir du Carra website, with its homey photos of owner Jean-Noël Sambardier and his son. Here’s what they said about the 2012 when it came out:

Just barely three weeks old, this fresh fruity red from the granite hills of Beaujolais comes entirely from Gamay grapes. Beaujolais Nouveau day is November 15th this year and is a celebration of harvest and a festive event. This bistro style wine should be consumed in copious quantities in the first full year of its life.

Tasting the wine, the first thing I noticed was a deep, rich, jammy aroma. In the mouth too, it had really impressive full berry flavors, but lacked acidity to provide good structure. No doubt this was due to the mellowing effect of its age. It was velvety and smooth, but without a refreshing tang, rather like some merlots I’ve tasted. By the second glass, as usual, I was feeling a bit more charitable, and in fact it made me curious about the Villages and Cru wines from this producer, particularly the small-production Juliénas, “the oldest Cru of Beaujolais, that was named for the famous Roman Emperor Julius Caesar.”