Beaujolais Nouveau can't dispel old market gloom

16th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

LYON, France, Nov 15, 2006 (AFP) - The new Beaujolais Nouveau wine hits shops and bars Thursday in what has become an annual ritual, but praise for the vintage has done little to dispel a pervasive aroma of gloom in its region of origin in southeast France.

LYON, France, Nov 15, 2006 (AFP) - The new Beaujolais Nouveau wine hits shops and bars Thursday in what has become an annual ritual, but praise for the vintage has done little to dispel a pervasive aroma of gloom in its region of origin in southeast France.

A 'primeur' made from recently harvested grapes, Beaujolais Nouveau was a marketing triumph from the 1970s — when enthusiasts would race from the Saone valley by car and plane on the third Thursday of November to carry the wine around the world.

The 2006 wine has "a lot of freshness, a lot of fruit and more suppleness than the 2005," according to Daniel Buillat, of the Amicale des Beaujolais village.

However falling sales and prices continue to overshadow the industry, with a hectolitre selling this year for 158 euros (202 dollars) — a fall of six euros on last year.

Japan remains the biggest foreign market ahead of Germany and the United States, but producers are increasingly vesting hopes in China where sales remain embryonic. Promotional campaigns are planned in the coming days in stores in Beijing and Shanghai.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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