Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Greensboro News-Record Raves About Westbend Nouveau

Uncorked: Westbend's Nouveau beats the French red
Wednesday, December 3 (updated 3:00 am)
By Ed Williams
Special to the News & Record Related Links

The whole Nouveau est arrive' thing from France is so wearisome I let it pass for Thanksgiving. Watered down and downright funky -- think Bazooka Bubblegum and electric Kool-Aid with a pinch of Silly Putty -- this red has the shelf life of a sand gnat.

Need proof? What's $11 today is $5 in late January. And then it really goes south for the winter.

But I do love the Gamay grape.

Westbend Vineyards in Lewisville has just released its 2008 Nouveau, complete with a kind of '70s retro label that may (or may not) be spoofing the ubiquitous Georges DuBoeuf flower label.

I wish Westbend had ditched the retro look and the whole "Nouveau" tie-in because this red -- fruity and slightly medium-bodied -- could stand on its own, simply stated as Gamay on the label.

Westbend Vineyards pioneered French varietals in North Carolina -- and one of the earliest vines planted there was Gamay. Few Tarheel wineries have followed suit with this grape.

All of which adds to Westbend's pioneer reputation. Winemaker Mark Terry did a nice job bumping up color and complexity by adding in 15 percent Merlot. Still, even at that blending level, this showcases Gamay in all its glory.

With only 90 cases produced, I'm guessing you'll need visit there to pick this one up. Information:

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