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Jenise

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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Jenise » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:20 pm

So I opened a 2015 Mee Godard Morgon Corcelette the other day. What I know of Corcelette is all Foillard. I discovered Foillard's Corcelette with the magnificent 2009. A good friend who was a local wine steward had his personal wine epiphany with Beaujolais, a region he really only knew from Nouveau, that year and stocked up the supermarket he worked at heavily with both the Corcellete and the Cote du Py, as well as numerous Lapierres and a few others. Then he got cancer and died. Literally on his death bed at hospice, all other earthly matters settled, of all things to obsess about he worried out loud to me for the fate of those bottles if he wasn't there to hand-sell them as the store's manager had apparently been fairly appalled by the quantity he'd brought in. I promised then and there to buy them all.

And so 2009 began my own Beaujolais epiphany. All I have left are two Lapierre magnums. Influenced in my expectations of Foillard's Corcelettes and excited by the hype about the '15 vintage I bought half a case of these Mee Godards over a year ago, but warnings from the retailer about these needing patience caused me to leave them alone until now.

Great advice, as I found out. Opened a bottle, hard as nails. Waited two hours, still hard as nails. Waited two more days, and it was drinkable but the tannins were still quite pronounced. The dark fruit rang true but the sensuous spiciness of the voluptuous 09 Foillard was not in this bottle. Some spice, but not enough, not yet. I'd say they're two years out.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Tim York » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:25 pm

From my Paris days in the 60s, I have fond memories (perhaps improved by nostalgia) of Beaujolais served in bistrots, especially Fleurie and Chiroubles, for their charming fragrance and fresh minerality (not a word then used for wine!) and also their friendly prices of c. 5 FRF (=<€1). Good bistrot owners then had private inside tracks with growers and could offer cuvées hard to find retail.This bottle lived up to those memories in all but price -

2016 Domaine de Sermezy Chiroubles Cadole de Grille Midi - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chiroubles (7/20/2019)
Just what I am looking for in Chiroubles; a deliciously fragrant and moreish combination of fresh berry fruit, flinty minerals and zesty acidity on a medium body. Good+.
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By contrast, here is a modern ambitious cuvée which, while not bad wine, IMO misses the point of what Beaujolais should be about.

2016 Clos de Ponchon - Dufour Père & Fils Régnié - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Régnié (7/15/2019)
When reaching for this bottle I missed the words "vieilli en fût de chêne" and suffered for my carelessness. The wine was medium/full bodied with ripe plum fruit, some earthy minerals, decent acidity and quite strong tannic backbone within which lurked dry caramel notes contributed by the oak. While I think that in couple more years this oak presence may become integrated to a degree acceptable for me, this sort of "importance" is not what I want from Beaujolais. Just fairly good.
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Domaine Diochon 2017 Moulin-à-Vent

by Robin Garr » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:25 am

Moulin-à-Vent and Kermit Lynch: That's a combination that's hard to beat, and this may be one of the best Beaujolais I've ever opened. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.

Domaine Diochon 2017 Moulin-à-Vent Cuvée Vieilles Vignes ($26.99)

This medium-dark reddish-purple wine is clear despite being unfined and unfiltered, the sign of good and careful wine making. Distinct but subtle scents of blackberries are backed by good, earthy red clay on the nose. Dark berry and tart black cherry flavors carry over on the palate with brisk acidity and firm but palatable tannins. Distinct minerality is present in the background of this well-balanced, appealing wine, and its rational 13 percent alcohol doesn't get in the way. Producer: Thomas Patrenotre. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (July 24 , 2019)

FOOD MATCH: Grilled meat or poultry would serve this bottle very well, as would flavorful cheese- or bean-based entrees. It went nicely with fat, midsummer green peppers stuffed with ground beef and bulghur.

WHEN TO DRINK: It's fine now, but the good news about Moulin-à-Vent – especially this Moulin-à-Vent – is that it can age surprisingly well, in contrast with simple Beaujolais. This powerful vintage could certainly age, and evolve into Pinot-like complexity, for a decade, assuming quality, temperature-controlled cellar conditions. Even on a wine rack at room temperature, it ought to be good, if not evolve quite so elegantly, for five years.

VALUE:
My local price is a couple of bucks under Wine-Searcher.com's $28 average retail and a dollar below importer Kermit Lynch's suggested retail. That said, it's a remarkable Cru Beaujolais, and certainly competitive with other quality French reds that claim higher prices.

WEB LINK
This link will take you to importer Kermit Lynch's fact sheet, with a link to purchase the wine.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Locate vendors and check prices for Domaine Diochon Moulin-à-Vent Cuvée Vieilles Vignes on Wine-Searcher.com.

Read more about Moulin-à-Vent and browse a long list of wines from the region on this Wine-Searcher.com page.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:41 am

Always liked Diochon. Have not had a bottle in a long time. KL imports don't always show up in my neck of the woods.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Robin Garr » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:18 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Always liked Diochon. Have not had a bottle in a long time. KL imports don't always show up in my neck of the woods.

We're lucky here to have a couple of retailers who like Kermit and have a good relationship with him, so Louisville probably gets a little more than our per capita share. Fine by me! :mrgreen:
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Tim York » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:50 am

Here is an interesting expression of Gamay from the Côtes du Forez. This appellation is located on volcanic soil in the upper Loire valley at more or less the same latitude as Lyon.

2018 Domaine Verdier-Logel Côtes du Forez Rézinet - France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Côtes du Forez (10/31/2019)
I was surprised to find such a big, dark and concentrated yet appealing wine made from Gamay. Quite full bodied with fruit exuding raspberry and bramble notes together with notes of tar and liquorice, fresh acidity and lots of backbone which owes as much to alcohol (15%) as tannins. A little rough still but with bags of character. Good.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Jenise » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:55 am

Tim, that sounds a lot like the new world gamays I've had from Oregon.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Tim York » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:33 pm

Jenise wrote:Tim, that sounds a lot like the new world gamays I've had from Oregon.


Yes indeed Jenise, there was something New World about my Côtes du Forez. I'm not sure how much this showing is a terroir effect or how much the reflection of a warm vintage, not forgetting winemaker's manipulation. There was no obvious new oak.

An increasing number of Beaujolais producers are giving an overt new oak flavour to their more ambitious cuvées. I am mostly unconvinced by the results.

Do the Orgeon Gamay producers go in for oaking?
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Rahsaan » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:07 am

Yes, that does sound like a wine that confounds a few expectations. Of course I don't actually know much about the Cotes de Forez to have any informed expectations. The Roannaise wines are often on the lighter side of things. But this is not that.

And since we're on the subject, last night I had another bottle of 2013 Descombes Régnié VV. Last bottle was earlier in the year when it was in a nice spot and that continues to be the case. The clear fruit is turning more mature and autumnal but it is still distinctly berry and the structure is still juicy and lively. A nice combination to drink that was lots of delicious fun before, during and after dinner.

That said, for my tastes, will probably finish the remaining bottles over the next several months. Not sure I need much more aging on this for my palate.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by SteveEdmunds » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:55 pm

Jenise, I think what Jon Bonné actually said about Gamay is not permissible to quote in a family wine forum! :lol:
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Tim York » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:19 am

2017 Pierre-Marie Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais (1/15/2020)
Even more delightful than my last bottle 18 months ago. Medium/light in body its aromas and fruit live well up to its name though perhaps slightly sweeter than griotte cherries straight off the tree. There are fine minerals, moreish acidity, gently tangy backbone and lingering aromas as well. IMO this is at present much better drinking than the Brouilly and Fleurie '16s which I bought at the same time, which are still a bit severe. We couldn't stop ourselves from finishing the bottle but at 12.5% alcohol only that is not a disaster. Very good.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Rahsaan » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:25 am

Nice work. I've been finishing off a bunch of 2017 Julien Sunier Fleurie that I bought last year. While it could probably age further, there is a juicy joy that I am content to enjoy now!
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Tim York » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:45 pm

Côte Roannaise is near the source of la Loire roughly at the same latitude as the city of Lyon. Its main grape variety is Gamay Saint-Romain, a variant of Gamay. It is much more like Beaujolais than the fresher tasting Gamay from downstream in Touraine. In spite of the (slightly) different grape, I would take this for a robust Beaujolais-Villages or even a cru.

2019 Domaine des Pothiers Côte Roannaise Référence - France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Côte Roannaise (26/06/2020)
Judging by my TN, this is fuller and more generous than the 2014 but just as delightful in its different way. There was plenty of quite savoury plum infused fruit, earthy minerals, fresh acidity and firmness on the finish with a slightly coarse young wine touch which will probably attenuate with some more age. Good.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:43 pm

Nice note Tim. I also always enjoy Rahsaan Bolly notes too.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Rahsaan » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:26 pm

You called? I actually had a pretty interesting Beaujolais last weekend, the 2018 Alex Foillard Brouilly. Son of Jean. I've only recently heard of him, but apparently he has a few vintages under his belt, imported to US by KLWM and already charging higher prices than his father! I guess wine economics has its own logic.

I approached the bottle knowing that some friends have been enthusiastic, but I was still surprisingly impressed. It may not have been the best vintage to get a sense of the domaine, because it was so rich. But there was also plenty of freshness and silk. Very fun to drink. Someone to watch.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Paul Winalski » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:56 am

Tim York wrote:How does Gamay fare in the USA? I seem to recall having had some enjoyable ones in a visit to California many years ago.


Last time I looked, the ampelographers had concluded that nearly all of the Gamay being grown in California wasn't really Gamay at all. Now that we have genetic sequencing, it ought to be possible to come to a definitive conclusion on the issue.

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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:33 pm

What Paul said..have to wonder about Gamay I see here in Canada??
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by kasey.dubler » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:12 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:
Tim York wrote:How does Gamay fare in the USA? I seem to recall having had some enjoyable ones in a visit to California many years ago.


Last time I looked, the ampelographers had concluded that nearly all of the Gamay being grown in California wasn't really Gamay at all. Now that we have genetic sequencing, it ought to be possible to come to a definitive conclusion on the issue.

-Paul W.



One of the problems I've heard is much of the older Gamay in California is Gamay, but much of it is Valdiguie also. Validigue was allowed in wines labelled Gamay Beaujolais until 2007. Both Broc and Cruse make great Valdiguie wines, I',m sure others do as well, but I haven't been able to try them all yet.
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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by Paul Winalski » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:32 pm

According to Jancis Robinson's Vines, Grapes and Wines (published 1986), Gamay Beaujolais is an inferior clone of Pinot Noir. I did some searching and learned that genetic analysis at UC Davis proved that Napa Gamay is Valdiguie, and name "Napa Gamay" has been banned on US wine labels since 1999. I haven't found any genetic confirmation of the identity of Gamay Beaujolais. Ampelography has always been an inexact science and you really need the genetic analysis to be sure of things. Linguistically one would think that Cabernet Sauvignon was so named because it was a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, but that was disputed for decades because CS is so much darker and forceful than CF. But the genome shows that CF x SB is exactly what CS is.

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Re: July Wine Focus: Back to basics with Gamay

by SteveEdmunds » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:47 pm

Gamay Beaujolais IS a Pinot Noir clone, and not related to Gamay. Valdiguié is NOT related to Gamay, either. It's my belief that before Charles Shaw planted Gamay Noir A Jus Blanc in St. Helena back in the early '70's, there had not been any intentional plantings of true Gamay in California.

Gamay is an early-ripening variety, here, usually coming in in late in August or early in September, in the Sierra Foothills. Valdiguié ripens toward the very end of the season; it had been planted in a few places in the foothills back in the '70's where it was all but impossible for it to ripen above 20 degrees Brix. It needs a pretty warm site; real Gamay makes its best wine in very cool sites.
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