This month's theme is and ode to the tasty French grape Gamay, which traces its origin to the region of Burgundy as a cross between Pinot Noir and an ancient white variety called Gouais. These days Gamay, or Gamay Noir as it is also known, is grown all over the world from California to Australia and closer to home in the Okanagan Valley and on the Niagara Peninsula.
Many folks first think of the quickly produced (and occasionally sketchy) Beaujolais Nouveau when they hear "Gamay", but the grape has so much more to offer as the following 5 examples can attest.
Chateau Des Charmes 2012 Gamay Noir - $14
A raw, in-your-face Gamay Noir that smells and tastes (rather specifically) like a handful of crushed, slightly under-ripe, black cherries soaked in POM Wonderful juice. Beyond the fruit lies layers of earthy flavours and sweet'n'spicy liqueur notes.
Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2013 Gamay Noir - $23
Needs a good long decant to open-up and settle, revealing a pleasant nose of wild berry and mixed dried fruit aromas with soft notes of mocha and light caramel. The palate is Beaujolaise-Village-like with a nice balance of texture between bright, red fruit and fleshy, gamey flavours and finishes long with lingering spice.
JoieFarm 2012 Gamay - $24
This medium-ruby hued Gamay is sourced from a single-vineyard on the Naramata Bench and boasts an engaging, savoury nose of cured meats, bay leaf, warm rocks, onion salt and white pepper aromas with ripe berry notes adding a layer of sweetness to the developing bouquet.
Maison Louis Latour 2011 Bourgogne Gamay - $25
This Gamay, sourced from multiple vineyard sites in Burgundy, is fruit-driven on the nose with lovely, raspberry and spicy plum aromas supported by light notes of cola, vanilla and a hint of menthol. A touch more tannin on the finish than its Beaujolais-Village cousins to the South.
Mt. Boucherie Winery 2012 Family Reserve Gamay Noir - $30
Vanilla-Cherry Coke and Christmas Cake spice aromas greet you on the nose of this funky Gamay Noir from Mt. Boucherie. The palate offers a medley of tastes from sweet, juicy red fruit, to tangy cranberry acidity to earthy herbs'n'spice.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015 IconWines.ca