Exploration 4-Pack: Gamay Four Ways: A Single Grape Variety From Four Regions
It is interesting to try different wines made from a single grape and compare them. How the wine is made, who makes it, and where the grapes are grown are significant variables that affect the wine’s aromas and flavors. Those factors also affect other characteristics such as acidity, alcohol, concentration, etc. How and who are determined by the winemaker; that is a human decision. Where, the site that the grapes are grown, also known as terroir - soil, weather, and aspect - determines what the wine will be. While it is true that humans decide where to plant a vineyard, the nature of that place will decide the characteristics of the wine, barring a heavy hand in the vineyard or winery. This 4-pack will explore a single variety, Gamay, from four different places.
I’m a huge fan of Gamay. My criteria is simple: aromas of fresh strawberries and/or raspberries, juicy, moderate but fresh acidity, light tannins are okay, and the concentration should be a fairly intense mouthful of ripe red berries, a little pepper, and earth notes that don’t occlude the fruit. Perhaps the perfect wine for nearly anything, but most certainly my “go-to” burger wine.
Gamay is grown nearly everywhere in France; notable exceptions are Bordeaux, Alsace, and Corsica. (Sadly, not everyone is enamored with Gamay. In 1395 Philip the Bold declared that “Gaamez” should be removed from Burgundy as it is “a very bad and disloyal grape… very harmful to human creatures… significant and horrible bitterness,” and so on. Obviously he wan’t a fan.) Gamay is mainly and most famously grown in Beaujolais, just south of the Côte d’Or (Burgundy) where Pinot Noir is the red wine king. Beaujolais, specifically in the north among the ten Cru villages such as Morgon, Fleurie, and Moulin-Au-Vent, is home to, arguably, the best examples of Gamay. There are contenders from other places, however, that rival Beaujolais’ claim to supremacy. Hence, these four fine wines.
This pack includes the four wines below. There is certainly a Cru Beaujolais. There is also a Gamay from Roannaise due west of Beaujolais that benefits from similar granite soils that the Crus enjoy. Then there is a Gamay from the Vallée d’Aoste in the northwestern corner of Italy in the Alps. Finally, there is an American (California) bottle from El Dorado in the Sierra Foothills that is sourced from two vineyards that have granitic soils. All different, yet all from one single grape variety. Enjoy the Exploration!
This Exploration pack is discounted at more than 15% off regular prices. No further discounts apply.
Coudert 2020 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie
100% Gamay. Strawberries, dried strawberries, raspberries, dried flowers, and stone dust. This is a concentrated gem from the Cru Village of Fleurie. INTENSE and packed with fruit and mineral. I can't recommend this enough; one of my perennial favorites.
Pothiers 2020 Côte Roannaise Reference
100% Gamay. Strawberries, raspberries, violets, and mineral notes. Light- to medium-bodied, and utterly easy-going and quaffable for when you are craving a juicy yet subtly complex red that can take a chill. Grown in granite soils due west of the Cru Villages of Beaujolais, but near the beginning of the Loire river. No oak, just fresh and delicious.
Grosjean 2020 Vallée d’Aoste Gamay
100% Gamay. Strawberries, rainier cherries, macerated strawberries, balsamic, spruce needles, and a touch of Brett. Medium-bodied with a rounded texture and just enough acidity to keep it fresh. Stainless steel aging keeps the fruit flavors prominent and pure. Organic.
Arnot-Roberts 2018 Gamay
100% Gamay. Ripe and wild strawberries co-mingle with rustic red plums, a bit of pepper, spice, flowers and bit of earthy underbrush. The palate is graceful with a gentle tannic finish. Mid-weight, the wine is still evolving, give it a little air and the aromatics become more enticing and complex. Aged in a mix of neutral oak and stainless steel. Drink this for another 4+ years, if you can wait that long!
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