Rosé officially jumped the shark this week. Les Vins Georges Duboeuf will be adding a rosé to their annual American release of Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of November.
Nouveau Rosé is a negociant wine produced with gamay grapes sourced from Beaujolais by Duboeuf. The juice has been available in France since 1983, but 2018 vintage will mark the first shipment to the U.S.
“Rosé’s lighter, fresh profile is similar to the description of Beaujolais Nouveau, so it’s no surprise that the Gamay grape would be a natural to produce high quality Rosé,” stated Dennis Kreps, co-owner of US importer Quintessential. “The exploding popularity of Rosés from France and other countries has gone well beyond ‘summer sipping’ into year-round enjoyment.”
Beaujolais Nouveau is a vin de primeur, meaning that it is bottled and sold in the same year of harvest. The wine is billed as a litmus test for the year ahead. However, much more than a bellwether of harvest, beaujolais nouveau is a massive marketing blitz.
In the 1950’s producers began their push by setting a standardized release date, but Georges Duboeuf really took it to the next level beginning in the 70’s. The negociant was a natural hype man and his colorful labeling and ceaseless promotion of “Beaujolais Day” transformed the previously niche product into a phenomenon in Europe. In the 90’s, Beaujolais Nouveau blew up in the States where shrewd marketers seized upon the wine’s release date exactly one week before Thanksgiving Day.
The Nouveau Rosé will almost certainly ride on that same promotion train. The labeling of the Nouveau bottle will even feature the same abstract oil painting by Nashville, TN native Chloe Meyer as the Beaujolais Nouveau bottle.