The launch of Beaujolais Nouveau on Nov. 17 is a week away. But word is out already on the creator of the label for this year’s offering from France’s largest Beaujolais producer, Georges Duboeuf.
For the new 2011 vintage, and the first time ever, Duboeuf selected an American to render the label – Brooklyn graffiti artist Michael McLeer, aka Kaves – and create what Duboeuf is calling a “Nouveau Expression.”
It portrays a couple toasting wine at an outdoor table at the intersection of Live and Love streets in a busy, French-like setting. It’s drawn in a contemporary cartoonish fashion, and emits plenty of style and energy.
This label is not only a great stage for the artist, but it also becomes the vehicle for a massive advertising campaign for the wine.
Local retailer Dean Champane, owner of Champane’s Wine Cellars across from the GM Tech Center in Warren, met with the importer, W.J. Deutsch & Sons, last week in New York for a preview of the wine and the label. He was impressed.
“This is the first time in 20 years I am leading my launch of holiday wines with the Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau,” he said. The quality, he said, is standard for Beaujolais Nouveau – light-bodied and fruity, with lots of cherry, raspberry and dark currant tones, and it has a nice slam of flavors on the finish.
Beaujolais Nouveau, if you need an introduction, is a fun, light-style, dry red that offers a glimpse of the quality of the new vintage. The grape is Gamay, and the wine is made in a nontraditional way to get it from vineyard to bottle to market in about six weeks’ time. French regulations say the wine cannot be released until one minute after midnight on the third Thursday of November, at which time the cases begin their journey to Paris for shipment around the world. And the cry goes out at bars everywhere: “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arriv