Noble Hill Crux Mataro Nova 2023

Beaujolais Nouveau

In exalted wine circles, caution is advised before confessing to enjoying a Beaujolais Nouveau wine. American wine critic Karen MacNeil said in 2017 that she ‘hates’ Beaujolais Nouveau. Previously she said: “Drinking it gives you the same kind of silly pleasure as eating cookie dough.” Fortunately, I don’t mind confessing to enjoying cookie dough.

Real Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay Noir grapes in the Beaujolais area of the Burgundy wine region in France. It’s a so-called ‘vin de primeur’ made to be released in the same year as the harvest.

In Europe, the key to achieving the same-year feat lies in carbonic maceration. Carbonic maceration is a whole-bunch fermentation technique during which most of the juice is fermented while it is still inside the grape. The resulting wine is fruity and low in tannins and can be ready in only a few weeks.

Every year Noble Hill, on the slopes of the Simonsberg near Franschhoek, makes a few hundred bottles of a Beaujolais Nouveau-inspired wine.  Unlike the French original, Noble Hill’s Crux Mataro Nova is made from bushvine Mourvèdre (a.k.a. Mataro in Spain). After carbonic maceration for 18 days to achieve the first 4-5% alcohol the grapes were pressed and traditionally fermented for the rest of the way. It was bottled without fining or filtration, which means there can be a bit of sediment in the bottle.

Beaujolais Nouveau has been described as “the only white wine that is red” and should be served chilled. This also holds true for the Crux Mataro Nova. Expect floral aromas combined with savoury and earthy notes.

It is recommended to be enjoyed with charcuterie and hard cheeses. I quite enjoyed mine with some biltong or simply on its own at the end of a long day…

Alcohol 12.5% vol | Residual Sugar 1.8 g/l | Total Acid 4.5 g/l | pH 3.5 | +27 (0)21 874 3844