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Robin Garr

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May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Robin Garr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:03 am

I think we all want to get out of this cruelest April as quickly as I can, so I'm going to fire up the May Wine Focus a day early to get us outtahere. The topic for the month fits the name of the month: Let's head for Beaujolais and the other regions where it is grown to sample wines made from Gamay! Or, if you like, GaMAY!

(Don't worry, you can still post Piemontese grapes in the April Wine Focus. It's not going away. But I have a bottle of Régnié sitting on the dining room table ready to go with risotto for lunch.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by David M. Bueker » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:39 pm

I had forgotten that this was coming, but I just stood up a 2009 Brun MaV, so here we go!
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Robin Garr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:07 pm

I love me some Brun! Enjoy!
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by SteveEdmunds » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:37 pm

Jolly good idea! :P
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:28 pm

Steve..send us all a case!!
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Patchen Markell » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:37 pm

Okay, with this in mind, we opened an Edmunds St. John 2018 Gamay Noir, El Dorado County, “Bone-Jolly.” This and the previous vintage have been lighter in color than I recall from earlier years, a dusky red-rose. Vivid fresh and dried cranberry fruit, some citrus zest, earth and spice on the palate. Takes on a bit of weight with air, and, sneakily enough, has the concentration to play well with zesty pizza. Bright, sunny, and easy, on a day of dreary, unending rain. I’ll take it!
cheers, Patchen
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Tim York » Fri May 01, 2020 8:36 am

2018 Domaine de la Charmoise Gamay Touraine - France, Loire Valley, Touraine (27/04/2020)
Henry Marionnet is a wizard with Gamay. This entry level cuvée (c.€7) has juicy fruit, minerals and tangy acidity and is fun to drink just like the more ambitious Premières Vendanges cuvée. The only difference is a tad more rusticity. Good wine and a candidate for repurchase.
Posted from CellarTracker
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Robin Garr » Fri May 01, 2020 11:58 am

Henry Fessy 2017 Château des Reyssiers Régnié ($16.99)

This is a clear, dark, reddish-violet wine shading to a thin clear edge. Its aroma offers pleasant red berries, strawberries and raspberries with a whiff of black-cherry liqueur, and a hint of the high-toned volatile acidity that's typical of Beaujolais. On the palate it's fresh, juicy, and tart, balanced if somewhat rustic cherry-berry fruit framed by crisp acidity, light scratchy tannins, and subtle red-clay minerality joining red fruit in the finish. Very good Régnié, good with food, a moderate 13% alcohol claimed. U.S. importer: Louis Latour Inc., San Rafael, Calif. (April 30, 2020)

FOOD MATCH: Producer Henry Fessy suggests an eclectic list of pairings including white meats, grilled entrecote steaks, barbecued ribs and, broadly, "appetizers and cheese." I found it an enjoyable match with a grilled fennel risotto.

WHEN TO DRINK: The Gamay-based wines from the named villages of Beaujolais, like Régnié, are generally capable of improving with time in a temperature-controlled cellar. If the synthetic stopper can be trusted, it should be good and could improve over the next three to five years.

VALUE:
My local price isn't out of line with Wine-Searcher.com's $16 average U.S. retail. It's a good value at this price.

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Here's a fact sheet on the importer's website. For more detail, download this detailed PDF document from producer Henry Fessy.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Henry Fessy Cháteau des Reyssiers Régnié on Wine-Searcher.com.

Read about Régnié at this Wine-Searcher link, and scroll down to find vendor and price listings for dozens of other wines from the village.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by David M. Bueker » Fri May 01, 2020 4:18 pm

Patchen Markell wrote:Okay, with this in mind, we opened an Edmunds St. John 2018 Gamay Noir, El Dorado County, “Bone-Jolly.” This and the previous vintage have been lighter in color than I recall from earlier years, a dusky red-rose. Vivid fresh and dried cranberry fruit, some citrus zest, earth and spice on the palate. Takes on a bit of weight with air, and, sneakily enough, has the concentration to play well with zesty pizza. Bright, sunny, and easy, on a day of dreary, unending rain. I’ll take it!


Hasn't this been the crappiest April (now May) in a very long time? Rain and cold. Bleh.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Jenise » Fri May 01, 2020 6:00 pm

I don't normally dig back through old TNs to participate in the monthly focus topics, but about six weeks ago we plowed thru a pile of gamays--blind--over a weekend in Los Angeles so I'd like to start contributing this month by re-posting my notes here.

2017 Domaine du Vissoux / Pierre-Marie Chermette Fleurie Les Garants Gamay
Very savory, crunchy and autumnal tasting of fallen leaves with a distinct pine needle accent. Which doesn't sound great but it was my #2 of 5 in its flight. However, a retaste the next day was flat-out weird with notes not unlike a brand new shower curtain. Don't know what to make of this.

2016 Château de La Chaize Brouilly Gamay
Brilliant ruby color, terrific aromatics, but lacks complexity and substance on the palate. An early drinker.

2018 Domaine Chignard Fleurie Les Moriers Gamay
Loved this, best in its flight. Savory and sweet tomato fruit and dried thyme, very Burgundian.

2011 Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour Gamay
Taupe-y color. Sweet and savory at the same time, very 'together' and attractive with a bit of that geranium leaf note that I love in Beaujolais.

2018 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Gamay
Brutally young and backward with candyish top notes and red licorice for fruit. Tasted blind; would not have guessed this to be from a good house like Thivin. Tough to appreciate so was last in its flight, but time should be good to it.

2011 Louis Jadot Morgon Côte du Py Château des Jacques Gamay
Mine. Splashed decanted several hours before the tasting, and it tasted okay but just that. Didn't live up to expectations based on our last bottle in 2018 when it seemed to have a long future ahead. #3 out of 5 for me and #5 out of 5 for the group.

2017 Domaine Piron & Lafont / Piron-Lameloise Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes Gamay
Slick and Modern, tart/sour, hollow. Not what I want from Beaujolais.

2016 Domaine Chignard Juliénas Beauvernay Gamay
Big, young, sophisticated, sexy. Honestly not ready yet for a PnP, but lots of come-hither moments and potential.

2014 Jean-Louis Dutraive (Domaine de la Grand'Cour) Fleurie Clos de la Grand'Cour Gamay
My bottle, and my least favorite wine in the flight. Seemed older, fuzzy, lots of celery instead of fruit. I'd splash decanted it several hours earlier but that wasn't enough--a next day retaste from the bottle left open over night was magnificent and everything I'd have hoped for in the first place. Damn! And a crime, my only bottle and one I purchased and drug home from our 2017 visit to Fleurie.

1999 Bernard Santé Moulin-à-Vent Gamay
Ines brought this. Obviously mature but would never have guessed it was 20 years old. Elegant and complex, my favorite in its flight, and probably WOTN.

2016 Perroud Brouilly Les frères Perroud Gamay
Very similar to the Bichot in the same flight--very attractive with higher than average acidity. Left open overnight, second day it was all hard tannins. This one needs time.

2013 Maison Albert Bichot Morgon Les Charmes Gamay
Very good. Higher than average acidity but lively and quite attractive.

2017 Domaine de la Ronze Régnié Marie Vernay Gamay
My favorite in its flight. Everything's right in this wine, dark and floral. Blind, I guessed it a Fleurie.

2018 Jean-Louis Dutraive (Domaine de la Grand'Cour) Fleurie Clos de la Grand'Cour Gamay
Somewhat closed on first tasting, seemed light and lacking in fruit. Left open overnight and the next day it had noticeably more weight, fruit and delineation. Will be stellar but needs cellar time or a 24 hr slow ox.


And the day before the tasting, I popped these two for palate calibration purposes:

2011 Clos des Garlands 'Sublime'
Not bad, not great. Probably asleep--I know this wine and it should have been better.

2009 Girardin de la Tour du Bief Moulin-a-Vent
Best damned Beaujolais of the weekend--all four of us (event co-hosts) agreed. Supple fruit with a lot of leathery middle-aged characteristics and red-dirt minerality. This is the wine that should have been called 'Sublime'.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Patchen Markell » Fri May 01, 2020 6:12 pm

Jenise: I’ve had that Chignard Fleurie, agree it’s terrific. I think I’ve got more, actually!

David: about 2 inches of rain yesterday, on top of 1.75 last week. My yard is a swamp. And now I’ve got a territorial female robin who’s been alternately attacking her reflection in my living room window and staring in at me, as if judging my interior design decisions, pretty much continuously since yesterday afternoon. Time to open some wine.
cheers, Patchen
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by David M. Bueker » Sun May 03, 2020 9:09 pm

Finally had a nice enough day to open a bottle of Beaujolais. Unfortunately the 2009 J.P. Brun Moulin a Vent was corked.

Will have to dig out another bottle. I have one more.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Jenise » Mon May 04, 2020 6:27 pm

We opened a '17 Edmunds St. John Bone Jolly last night to go with a Chicken & Carrot Vindaloo. I love rose wine with Indian Food, and didn't make it so cayenne-intense that it reduced the wine to mere mouthwash. This wine is very solid, and we opened it about two hours in advance, having found that it needs that kind of time for the fruit to show properly. Couldn't have been a nicer match, the wine has more spicy complexity to it than is apparent with blander foods. Many bottles left, will be great over the summer.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Patchen Markell » Mon May 04, 2020 8:14 pm

Clos de la Roilette 2018 Fleurie. Beautiful stuff: bright tomato and cranberry opens seamlessly into silky purple fruit. Seductive aromas, great texture, and a lot of depth. Has the bones for medium-term development, too. One of my favorite Beaujolais of the last year or so, and a nice match with a not-especially-easy pairing, Persian fesenjan, a chicken stew with walnuts and pomegranate molasses.
cheers, Patchen
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Jenise » Mon May 04, 2020 8:51 pm

Patchen, good news. I have six of them, but had understood they were a bit backward. Obviously not!
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Patchen Markell » Tue May 05, 2020 7:12 am

This is the second bottle I’ve had, with consistent impressions. Mind you, I’m going to try to lay off the rest (I think I bought six to start, too), but only to prolong the enjoyment and see where it goes.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Jenise » Wed May 06, 2020 3:38 pm

Last night, a domestic gamay-pinot noir blend:

2015 Teutonic Wine Company 1787 Wasson Vineyard Willamette Valley
In a perfect place for current drinking. Friendly, maturing fruit with some leathery notes. Light body with bright acidity (these wines really ARE Teutonic) perfect for my enchilada pie. Liked this a lot.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Patchen Markell » Wed May 06, 2020 8:58 pm

Daniel Bouland 2018 Morgon "Bellevue." Tighter, tonight, than the Roilette, this has a quick and tasty initial hit of silky blue and purple fruit that relatively quickly retreats behind a wall, or at least a low rampart, of acidity and reticent spiciness. Good but will be much better with a little time.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Tim York » Fri May 08, 2020 5:55 am

Together with Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon is a Beaujolais cru with a reputation for producing ageworthy wines but it also produces fun wines at fun prices. Here is an example -

2017 Domaine Arnaud Aucoeur Morgon Côte de Py Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (07/05/2020)
This doesn't seem to have changed much since my TN about a year ago. The fruit is perhaps a touch darker and more prune infused with an earthy touch but the tangy acidity still livens the whole. Good wine and good QPR at c.7€.
Posted from CellarTracker

I read that some Morgon cuvées from the cult producers like Lapierre and Foillard are now appearing in auction rooms fetching prices north of €80 for vintages like 2013 :shock: . Here is a TN on a Foillard -

2013 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (28/12/2017)
This is very different from most Morgon. I guess that Foillard must use macération carbonique to achieve the caressing texture and pure expression of fruit, sweeter than usual in Beaujolais, together with fine minerals, moreish acidity and enough grip. Medium bodied at most and probably not for the long haul unlike some more traditional Morgon. Very good.
Posted from CellarTracker

I recall a Morgon 1982 in IIRC a Berry & Rudd English bottling drunk around the year 2000. It was still very much alive. It drank like a villages wine from the Côte d'Or minus a bit of Pinot charm and I didn't think it worth the wait.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Rahsaan » Fri May 08, 2020 8:58 am

Tim York wrote:2013 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (28/12/2017)
This is very different from most Morgon. I guess that Foillard must use macération carbonique to achieve the caressing texture and pure expression of fruit, sweeter than usual in Beaujolais, together with fine minerals, moreish acidity and enough grip. Medium bodied at most and probably not for the long haul unlike some more traditional Morgon. Very good.


Just noticed that note was from 2.5 years ago. From my tastes of other 2013s I would guess that the Foillard held on a bit longer, but none of the 2013s were long agers - even by Beaujolais standards. 2009s from all producers will probably go much longer. But yes, the Foillard carbonic maceration style is obvious, although not sure what counts as 'traditional'. Some would say that is the traditional style. These words can be tricky.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Saina » Fri May 08, 2020 2:35 pm

Château de la Pierre (Jean Loron) Régnié 2018

This is described as "vin nature" on the bottle but it certainly isn't in the wild, weird end of the natural spectrum. Instead it smells and tastes like a pretty good conventional but big Beaujolais. Plenty of ripe fruit, quite dark in tone, very young. Pretty big, 13,5% abv, very ripe but that's ok, it still tastes like Gamay and it has good structure both from lively acidity and a bit of tannin. Ideally I like a bit lighter style of Beaujolais, but this was pretty tasty, too. :)
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by David M. Bueker » Tue May 12, 2020 7:39 pm

  • 2009 Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Moulin-à-Vent - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Moulin-à-Vent (5/12/2020)
    I waited three years since the prior bottle (other than one that was corked...grrrr), and this is still very fresh. Deep cherry fruit, fresh, green herbs, light earth tones - it has gone a bit Burgundian in the nest sense of the word. It is flawed though, as it seems to evaporate from the glass. Whenever I look, it's gone! Drink now and over the next 10+ years. It has tons of life.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Jenise » Wed May 13, 2020 10:49 am

2012 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py Gamay
Light ruddy red. Color and nose of full maturity--a bit surprising for just 8 years old. But am not at all unhappy with the home stretch flavors of old burgundy like dried strawberries, truffles, rose petals and antique books. Just loved it with a shitake-leek risotto.
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Re: May Wine Focus: GaMAY!

by Robin Garr » Fri May 15, 2020 2:32 pm

Domaine des Foudres 2018 Moulin à Vent ($19.99)

This 100 percent Gamay from the Beaujolais Cru Moulin à Vent is a dark reddish-purple color, shading to a narrow garnet edge. Its aroma is pleasant but seems a bit closed at first; swirling in the glass brings up good black-plum, mixed berry, and appealing earthy mineral notes of damp clay. Tart plums and berries fill the mouth, shaped by zippy fresh-fruit acidity and light, gently astringent tannins. It's on the rustic side, but certainly approachable at 13.5% alcohol; a good wine that many may find better suited for enjoying with food than sipping alone. U.S. importer: Boutinot USA Inc., Sanford, Fla. (May 9, 2020)

FOOD MATCH: The back label suggests "seared sausages, steak, or some tasty pasta." Steak would definitely work; we roasted a couple of Beyond Meat sausages with asparagus, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and garlic and fashioned it into a risotto, which made an absolutely delightful match.

WHEN TO DRINK: It's fine for drinking now, but with its structure and taint-free Diam cork should ensure enjoyment, and some possible evolution, over at least the next three to five years under good cellar conditions.

VALUE:
It's a good top-end Beaujolais, and my local $20 price seems fair. Wine-Searcher.com's $25 average U.S. retail is high, but may be based on limited sources.

WEB LINK
Here's an importer fact sheet for Domaine des Foudres Moulin à Vent.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Domaine des Foudres Moulin à Vent on Wine-Searcher.com; unfortunately, Wine-Searcher is showing only a few vendors for this wine.

Check this Wine-Searcher link to find information and listings for a wide variety of Moulin à Vent.
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