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Gamay

A fruity, floral and sometimes earthy light-bodied red that is the main variety planted in Beaujolais. Outside of France, Gamay has a tiny but devoted following. It's similar to Pinot Noir, and are acutally cousins, but you can find high quality Gamay at a much better price than Pinot Noir.

TASTE PROFILE

Gamay

It's one of those wines which are aroma centric, with most of it's fruit character showing up in it's aroma rather than on the palate. Expect fresh pomegranate, blackberry, and violet aromas on the nose, with high acidity and red fruit tartness on the palatte. Subtle earthy notes like potting soil. Some also have this distinctive banana note, partiocularly those from Beaujolais.

The amazing thing that makes Gamay a wonderful wine is that it pairs shockingly well with a wide array of foods, pairing with steaks all the way down to roasted vegetables and even grilled fish dishes. This is due low tannin & high acidity. Particularly, herb based dishes such as fennel and mustard pair especially well.

WINEMAKING REGIONS

It is grown in popularity in cool climate regions such as France (75% of Gamay is grown here), Canada, Oregon & New Zealand. The French Beaujolais normally are slightly earthier than Canadian or Kiwi Gamay.

BEAUJOLAIS, FRANCE

Impossible to mention when you talk about Gamay. It produces 75% of Gamay globally, and often will have a similar taste character to red Burgundy

An interesting Beaujolais style is the Beaujolais Nouveau, which is the "farmer's wine" equivalent. Released just 60 days after harvesting, this early release has gained in popularity in the local region, typically drank to celebrate the end of a season. The wine is released on the third Thursday of November every year. The locals celebrate it as the ‘Beaujolais Nouveau Day.’

It's a lush, fruity red wine made by carbonic maceration & bottled just after 6-8 weeks of maceration. Note aromas of grape, light raspberry, cranberry, candied fruits (bon-bon), fig, banana, and even bubblegum. 

The villages & cru levels would have different expressions depending on the appellation. Fleurie & Morgin are among the more popular ones. 

OTHER REGIONS

Gamay can also be found in the Loire Valley, often as rose wine or as a red blended with Cabernet France & Cot.

Canada, Oregon & New Zealand would be among the other regions producing Gamay. 

In Oregon, the Pinot Noir region of Willamette Valley produces a fresh & cherry forward version of Gamay, with bright acidity. 

In Canada, Gamay can mostly be found in the Niagra Peninsula, and are typically more bodied with slightly more tart fruit aromas, and less earthy. 

Tags: Varietal