Beaujolais nouveau is not something I get terribly excited about. I have always found it to be cloyingly grapey, overly fruity and with some bizarre notes in the bouquet, like overripe bananas or bubble gum. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen "Jolly Ranchers" included as a descriptor for the flavor.) I don’t really consider myself a true wine snob (trust me, I’ll drink almost anything), but I have some limits.
Still, beaujolais nouveau is tradition, and I do sort of get caught up in the frenzy and festivity of the whole affair. I also figured that there had to be no small amount of diversity between producers. So off to Plumpjack I went.
Predictably, they had the vins nouveaux, three of them, positioned at the endcap to greet you as you enter the store. I chatted with one of the fellas there about it. He steered me to the Georges Duboeuf as the fruitiest of the bunch. Duboeuf is the biggest producer and the only one I’ve ever had, so I wanted to try something a little different. Of the other two, one had more earthy notes, and another was most like a pinot noir in profile. As the notion of earthiness on a young and fruity wine kind of scared me, the latter is the one I tried: Domaine Ruet.
The good news: No banana/bubble gum/Jolly Rancher flavors here. In fact, had I not known it was a beaujolais nouveau, I might in fact have thought it to be a pinot noir, albeit not a very good one. It even had a bit of tannic structure, which is completely unusual. But, it lacked more than just fruit forwardness. It lacked a little bit of everything. The nose was simple, grapey and a little plummy; on the palate it was just … wine. It wasn’t exactly bad, but it had little to recommend it other than its complete and utter innocuousness. It did pair well enough with delivery pizza, though. Oh, and the best part? Screw top, baby.