I’m surprised at how inky and dark purple this Gamay is in the glass. The nose is very rich with raspberry, strawberry pie and cranberry. It’s reminding me of drinking wine on the Champs Elysee. The palate is red fruit driven and has a fair dose of acidity. Raspberries dominate the mid palate but the acidity starts to overtake on the decent length finish. It’s very satisfying and mid weight. I am pairing it with Chicken Pot pie and salad, should do the trick. This one is meant to be drunk young so slightly chill a bottle and get cracking. 88 points from me and for $14 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Once a year (the third Thursday in November to be precise) the French release the Beaujolais Nouveau. Super bright shade of purple, totally opaque. The nose is very fruity- black cherries, blackcurrants, cherry cola and sassafras. The palate is lively with lots of purple fruit, gobs of acidity and some licorice notes. Primal, this wine is meant to be drunk right away, yet it seems to have a bit of stuffing in there that may allow it to cellar for a year or two. There’s a sour cherry note that carries this wine through to the medium length finish. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The Nouveau movement started as a marketing ploy, got very popular in the 80’s and waned a bit of late. It’s a fun, basic wine that is nearly perfect for Thanksgiving and is easy to drink. Gamay based wines are served by the bucketload in the bistros of Paris, normally chilled ever so slightly they make a great red for a hot summers lunch. This one will fill that role nicely in the coming 12 months. 87 points. $13 and 3 stars. This brand changes the label every year, cool stuff. Salut….
My Virtual Wine Tasting Company is a group of friends who taste wines every two weeks or so. The goal for me is to introduce new varietals and regions to them and try to educate as best I can with my knowledge and experience. At the #7 tasting I presented the Gamay grape. No one realized that Beaujolais wines were made from this grape. We discussed regular maceration versus cold maceration and finally I talked about Carbonic Maceration used to produce the Nouveau Beaujolais. I pre-empted the tasting with a few pointers on Gamay wines- they are very low in tannins and acidity, do not generally cellar past 6 years for Cru wines and are drunk in abundance in the French Bistros. It is a lively, very fruity wine that is extremely easy to drink. Some can present decent complexity, most are basic wines. I chose this Cru that has a bit of age on it and is drinking nicely now. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be, an elegant introduction to the varietal. Some loved it, others hated it. Each to his own.
Gamy, cranberry, pepper, black cherry, blueberry and mocha were all mentioned by the tasters. The wine has little tannic grip but one can sense a tinge of acidity. Most expected a sweet wine, but I mentioned that the Gamay grape is very fruity, hence the expectation once they sniffed. This wine gets 89 points from me, the only detractor being it’s cellaring potential. I really liked it and will buy more at the $22 price point. It gets 4 stars from me. Drink now. Salut….
Bright purple and see through, typical for the Gamay grape. On the nose it shows blueberry, spice box, violets and bramble. The palate is very fresh and echoes the blue theme. Nice, rounded acidity braces the mouth and the fruit transitions nicely to the mid palate. There’s a definitive spice i’m getting- perhaps cloves? It’s very interesting. The wine feels like it may have a touch of tannic grip, which is good for this style- it allows brief to mid term cellaring. The finish is decent in length with more blueberries and a dusty component. It reminds me a little of Rioja on the back end. Quite unique. For $19 and 90 points, this Beaujolais Cru gets 4 stars. A nice gift from my cousins. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city. Drinking wine in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled. Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape. Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity. I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.
This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through. It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets. On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings. There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes. There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more. The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish. The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits. The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91. I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine. Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie. Salut….
When was the last time you had a Beaujolais wine, or a wine made from Gamay? It’s been ages for me as I am not a fan of Beaujolais Nouvea and steer clear of the stuff every November on it’s annual release date. I digress….. Last week I was on my way to Bali and drank this wine on the flight with my main course having just had the Vigneron de Buxy ‘Tete de Cuvee’ Bourgogne 2012 with the starter. I was very impressed and glad I tried it. It reminded me of lunches spent in Parisian restaurants, sipping chilled Brouilly on a warm summers day with Moxie.
Back to the wine… It hails from one of the 10 Cru villages in Beaujolais. I shall just cut and paste my brief notes.
Nose of underbrush and dried cranberries. Slightly dry tannic attack with bright acidity. Crunchy wet fresh washed cherries. Touch of oak with a nice spiciness. 3 to 5 years with good tannic structure and tart acidity, 90 points. I found it on the web for about $20, which is a great price. I would drink this all summer long with a variety of foods including chicken salad, salmon on the grill, burgers on the charcoal, even a plate of cold cuts. 4 stars for this Louis Jadot offering. Salut….
Our trip to Bali took us via Hong Kong, and the final leg was a lunchtime flight in Business class for just over 4 hours. I sampled all they had and started with this little gem. If you have ever had Gamay grapes, they were probably in some cheap and nasty Beaujolais Nouveau. Fleurie is an appellation within the Beaujoulais region which straddles the Rhone and Burgundy regions in France. The grape itself is thin skinned and low in tannins. Fleurie is considered a step up from traditional wines of the region and has some aging capacity.
This particular cuvee was textbook Gamay; light, pungent and floral on the nose with some strawberry and rose on the palate. Very delicate in the mouth, it is a very smooth and easy wine to drink. No marked tannins and a good acidic structure made this well suited to the lighter fare I chose. I would not pair it with red meat, but rather salmon, roast chicken or a cobb salad would do the trick. I’m not sure how widely available this wine is nor do I know the price. Technically speaking i would guess at 87 points and think it would be a 3 star wine if priced under $15. Worthy of a try if you come across it. Of note, this style of wine is one of my preferred summertime lunch wines when chilled slightly.