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2008 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Julienas

Skip the Nouveau and go for a Cru Beaujolais that is virtually the same price and, frankly, much better wine. The La Trinquee Julienas is a well-balanced offering that will go well with holiday turkey and most all of the trimmings. The wine has a fresh strawberry fruitiness with a floral component, perhaps rose petal. Still, the time this wine gets in the barrel gives it enough of a finish that you're not left with just a mouthful of fruit. It has a silky texture and should please both regular wine drinkers and occasional tipplers at your Thanksgiving table.
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2010 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau

A far better offering than its sister Beaujolais Nouveau wine for nearly the same price. This one has nice hints of strawberry and even cedar on the nose. Diving into it (not literally, of course) yields more tannic backbone holding up bright, lively flavors of cherry jam and a hint of allspice. It finishes with a slightly lingering flourish, which while not memorable, is still pleasant. This one is a nice holiday wine, especially with something like roast duck with cherry sauce.
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2010 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

Full disclosure notice: I’ve never been a big fan of most of these wines, finding them geared more toward marketing ploy than the palate. Approaching this one even with an open mind unfortunately confirms my prejudices. A nose of overripe berries and apples is somewhat promising but the follow through is both surprising and disappointing. The fruit seems short and tart, especially for a Nouveau—more like cranberry—and the finish is short. Even if you like this sort of thing, I cannot, even putting my predilections aside, recommend this one. The Nouveau Villages, however, is another matter; stay tuned!
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2008 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages

If this is a raspberry, it's a slightly dusty purple raspberry rather than the showier red type. A very peppery nose prevents intense grapiness from being cloying. Classic raspberry jam flavors come through in the mouth but, again, with an overlay of black pepper and an absence of upright, perky acidity. Though not a nouveau, still a light-styled wine: peppery spice and acidity come through more on the short finish than tannic astringency. A good balancing wine for something with equal mellowed-zip, like jalepeno-laden tomato sauce with lots of dried herbs.
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2009 Pierre Chermette Primeur

If someone switched the label to one reading "Dry Raspberry Wine," I wouldn't question it. Light raspberry in color, like a cool, late-evening sunset. Smells like my kitchen mid-raspberry jam production, and tastes like the raspberry puree sans heat, with a very, very fresh berry character that borders on herbaceousness. Perhaps someone tossed a few raspberry leaves in with the fruit? Absolutely no tannins, just lots of tangy berry-like astringency on the finish. Savory cheesecake (hold the berry topping), anyone?
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Natural Wine: On a Practical Note…

So here I was, last spring, talking away with the recently-departed Marcel Lapierre, the Beaujolais vigneron who was one of the dominant figures of the natural wine movement in its strictest definition—organic in the vineyard, wine made with grape juice only, nothing added (not even sulfur), nothing taken out. And as we got into discussing the risks of wild fermentations without sulfur, I asked him what he recommended doing if a fermentation went off in the wrong direction, with undesirable microorganisms like Brettanomyces taking over the wine’s development.