Last year, we introduced our very own Underwood Nouveau Pinot Noir to celebrate the first grape harvest of the year. This year on Beaujolais Nouveau Day (11/19), we are releasing both bottles and cans to ring in the first pour of the 2020 harvest. We think we can all use a glimmer of brightness right now, don’t you agree?
Beaujolais Nouveau Day is a national celebration that lands on the third Thursday of November. It was originated in France but is celebrated all over the world as an opportunity to imbibe the first wine of the season.
Our Underwood Nouveau is a riff on a Beaujolais Nouveau, which is traditionally made from Gamay grapes. Instead, we use our Pinot Noir grapes to remix our traditional Pinot Noir. For context, our Pinot Noir usually takes a full year to make, but our Nouveau only takes one month from start to finish. We’ve been busy!
This year, we started harvesting on the morning of September 10th. It was a labor of love. We handpicked the grapes in whole clusters without crushers or de-stemmers. We used the process called “carbonic maceration,” for fermentation. Here’s how it works: we place full bunches of grapes into stainless-steel vats, which are then filled with CO2 to remove oxygen. After about 10 days, alcohol levels reach around 2% ABV, allowing the grape skins to split open and release the juice. Towards the end of fermentation, the grapes release the berry flavor without releasing the bitter tannins from the skins.
So what should you expect from our Nouveau Pinot Noir this year? Surprise, delight, and a whole lot of brightness. Our Director of Winemaking JP Caldcleugh, describes the wine as “A berry medley that jumps out of the glass. It’s full of life and energy. It’s big. It’s in your face. It’s the freshest expression of our Pinot you can find and it gives us a peek into what the year’s harvest flavor profiles will bring.” Remember, this wine is meant to enjoy immediately, so drink up!
For the stunning artwork on the labels and cans, we brought back Jeremy Alan of The Ellaphant in the Room, whose work speaks to the beauty of art nouveau and complements the whimsy and youthfulness of the wine.
We’re pleased to present Union’s Underwood 2020 Nouveau Pinot Noir this fall to bring some much-needed light back into our homes as we hunker down for the winter. Stay safe and enjoy…with pinkies down, of course.