While researching names for new release wines, I have found a multitude of names and vintages among the perhaps fifty percent of the wineries who release them. The word “Nouveau”, French for “new”, is easily the most popular name associated with these wines. Wine to many connotes an aged grape product that improves with age. And although in many respects that is true, young wines may be measured in weeks and months rather than years and yet still have a clean-crispness and what I describe as a “fresh from the barrel” taste. There will be no hint of oak, only stainless steel on the nose.
These wines need to be as well as clean and crisp, food-friendly and smile-producing. And without humility, I admit my prejudice, but Shawn and David have outdone themselves with Forty-Five North’s first 2008 vintage release, a pinot noir rosé. The color is a strawberry-red color and the bouquet, unbelievable, an olfactory sensory rush. The immediate taste is that of strawberry and green melons. I love strawberries dipped in balsamic vinegar, and although wine and vinegar are typically not used together in a positive sense, the pinot noir grape gives me that very positive taste sensation. Hence, I propose a new name for this new wine, Pinot Nouveaur as a play on names, but on the shelves it will be found as Forty-Five North 2008 Nouveau, pinot noir rosé. It has a residual sugar of 2 percent, a pH less than 3 and an alcohol content of 12 percent. Enjoy!