2021 Sarnin-Berrux 'Le Bojo Sutra' Beaujolais Nouveau
Region: Régnié < Beaujolais < Burgundy < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic, Biodynamic farming; 50-year-old vines on granite soil; quick carbonic maceration; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 12% ABV
Winemakers: Jean-Pascal Sarnin + Jean-Marie Berrux
An organic, zero-zero Beaujolais Nouveau we actually want to drink!
You probably already know this, but Beaujolais Nouveau is an early-release Gamay bottled and released right after harvest to celebrate the end of harvest in the southern Burgundy region of Beaujolais, but has grown to become the world's largest wine party. Bojo season kicks off on the 3rd Thursday of November, with festivities throughout France (and now everywhere) revolving around the consumption of copious amounts of young, juicy, cheap (and usually industrially-made) Gamay. Alas, 2021 was an extremely challenging growing season, marked by a devastating April frost and a summer of hail and rain with many vintners losing entire crops, so there was much less of the cheap stuff to go around this year. But some producers not only managed to make some Nouveau in 2021, but gave it an upgrade.
Like this cheeky 'Bojo Sutra' from the Sarnin-Berrux team (Jean-Pascal Sarnin and Jean-Marie Berrux), negociants who only work with organic and biodynamic growers. The guys were inspired to start making natural wine because they love drinking it, and today they buy grapes and produce wines from all over Burgundy.
'Bojo Sutra' is 100% Gamay from 50+ year old vines on granite soils in Régnié, one of the 10 Cru villages, that is hand-harvested in November and bottled immediately after, as is the tradition with Nouveau. But the old vines and rocky soils here produce a more brooding expression of Beaujolais Nouveau, with tart currant and bramble black fruit, lifted by the typically bright acidity. Yes, it's still simple, juicy and intensely grapey, but there's a little more weight and earth than your average Nouveau. Like if Welch's grape juice went to Burgundy and started wearing a beret, taking on a sexier, more intellectual vibe. Serve chilled, for food or not, but definitely celebrations of all kinds. As you can see by the label art, this one's down to party.