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Sales of French Beaujolais Nouveau begin in Japan

JIJI

This year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine, produced in the Bourgogne region of France, went on sale in Japan on Thursday.

While the excitement surrounding the release has subsided in recent years compared with the bubble economy era in the late 1980s, the start of sales of the latest vintage is still considered one of the highlights of autumn for wine enthusiasts.

Japanese liquor-makers have expanded their lineups in response to the various ways people enjoy the arrival of the wine.

Asahi Breweries Ltd. released a 1.5-liter Beaujolais Nouveau product with a suggested retail price of ¥4,576, with larger groups of people in mind.

After the Japan-European Union economic partnership agreement went into effect in February, eliminating Japanese tariffs on European wines, Aeon Retail Co. launched a 750-milliliter bottle of the new wine at ¥968. Mercian Corp. put on sale a rose type, named Pink, in a 750-milliliter bottle at a suggested retail price of ¥2,893.

The number of grapes harvested in the Beaujolais area this year dropped some 20 percent from a year earlier, according to an official of Suntory Wine International Ltd. But the new Beaujolais Nouveau wine has a deep aromatic flavor as the harvest season was blessed with fine weather, the official said.