Wine lovers take note: The 1985 Nouveau is in.
It's not, of course, the famous fruity, light red wine from France's Beaujolais district--that's not due till November. This nouveau is a fresh, summer white from Tolaga Bay on New Zealand's east coast.
Auckland-based Corbans, which has imported its wines through Corbans Imports in Gardena for several years, decided to capitalize this year on the annually increasing Beaujolais mania, which last November saw Creston Manor, a small San Luis Obispo County winery, bringing its Beaujolais-style wine to market via stagecoach Nov. 13, beating the French original by two days. It was hardly a fair race, however, since French producers are forbidden by law from releasing their Beaujolais Nouveau until Nov. 15--about two months after the grapes are picked.
The Beaujolais phenomenon originated in France as a provincial celebration of the year's harvest, where an "instant" French Burgundy was made by a special process to sample and celebrate the year's harvest with a wine intended to be drunk that same year--a wine now called Beaujolais Nouveau (or new) and imitated in style by a growing number of California wine makers.