Beaujolais nouveau—new beaujolais—is vin de l'annee, wine of the year, made quickly, almost always by the process of carbonic semi-maceration. At its best, it is exuberantly fresh and fruity, a memorable frivolity, the most accessible expression of the gamay grape. Though it was once a curiosity, today roughly a third of all the wine produced in Beaujolais each year is nouveau, and this quantity is nearly all sold into distribution within a few weeks of the harvest. Clever marketing and its decent if uncomplicated character have turned beaujolais nouveau into one of the most famous of French exports. But there's a down side to all this: Beaujolais producers find it difficult to convince people that they make other styles of wine, some even capable of long aging. It's as if they had released a commercial genie from the bottle—only to have it swallow the cork.