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A Local Nouveau from Poe

The tradition of making “Nouveau” wines in France has been around for decades, with Beaujolais Nouveau morphing into a yearly celebration in Paris and Beaujolais. Traditionally, the term “nouveau” simply refers to the practice of bottling the first wine of the harvest just a few weeks after fermentation to celebrate and signal the end of harvest. The wine is always released on the 3rd Thursday of the November.

The last couple of years, we have been seeing more and more U.S. wineries joining in the tradition. Bow & Arrow in Oregon, Scribe in Sonoma, and Broc Cellars in Berkeley. However, we consider Samantha “Sam” Sheehan, winemaker of Poe Wines (and Bi-Rite Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), to be the one that started the current trend in the US. She started making the Nouveau wines 4 years ago, basically to just throw a party like the French. But the wine was so good and popular that she kept making it. Her Nouveau, made from Pinot Noir, is fresh and intensely floral with aromas of sweet red cherry along with spices and earth notes.

On November 1st, our wine team went up to Napa to help Sam bottle the 2017 vintage Nouveau. A very small production – she was working with a new vineyard for the Nouveau – we bottled about 60 cases which are already sold out at the winery. Luckily, we managed to get a good allocation of it so we will have some for our Markets but they’re selling fast with our 20% off case sale happening this month. The wine retails for $19.99.