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Okay, I know that most of you think Gamay equals Beaujolais. And, you wouldn’t be wrong because Beaujolais, France produces 75% of the world’s Gamay wine. Yet, there is an entire world out there that makes tiny amounts of Gamay that is equally fun, interesting, and food-friendly! Tonight, we are sampling two other places in France that grow Gamay (plus one fun white). Don’t miss out on these great values (or the other fun and interesting gamay that is regularly on our shelves) …
- Wolfberger Pinot Blanc 2016: Wolfberger is a union of producers located in Eguisheim, south of Colmar. The city was also the home of Pope Leo IX, the Reformer (Pope from 1048 – 1054 A.D.). The winery was founded in 1902 when a group of wine-growers in Eguisheim decided to join forces to create one of the first cooperatives in Alsace. The cave counts 453 members today. Wolfberger combines tradition and constant innovation to elaborate high quality wines and preserve their typicity. This clean and crisp style of wine displays delicate peach aromas with a hint of almonds. Smooth on the palate, it is balanced, with a creamy texture and a clean finish. Excellent with shellfish and smoked meat.
- Domaine de la Beliere Bugey Cerdon NV: Celine Ronger is the 2nd generation of the family to produce wine from Bugey. She followed her father’s footsteps and was joined by her brother Gael in 2016. The Domaine de la Bélière is located in the tiny village of Bohas, a 40 minute drive from the city of Bourg-en-Bresse, famous for its “Bresse” chicken – halfway between Lyon and Geneva in the foothills of the Jura. The Domaine de la Bélière farms 3 hectares of vines that spread over 3 communes – Mérignat, Saint Martin-Du-Mont and Bohas-Meyriat-Rignat. Spontaneous fermentation. An altogether preferable scenario to spontaneous combustion, and A LOT more fun to drink. This pink, semi-dry bubbly was made by spontaneous fermentation, otherwise known as methode ancestrale. Grapes are picked by hand (not just any grapes, these are the local Poulsard and 95% Gamay grown on mountainous slopes in the shadow of the Alps), and fermented in chilled vats just reaching 5 or 6 degrees alcohol. The young and light wine is then bottled, along with its active yeast and considerable unfermented sugars. Under pressure of the cork, the wine continues to ferment, gaining a few degrees of alcohol but retaining a nice amount of sweetness. The bubbles, of course, are another result of fermentation under pressure. This one is so delicious and fun to drink, with a distinctly, well, grapy aroma and a fruitiness that calls out for celebration and jubilation.
This is also wonderful served with chocolate cake!
- Alain de la Treille Rose d’Anjou 2017: Maison Alain de la Treille was founded in 1885. It is located in the heart of the Loire Valley. Noël Bougrier – the fifth generation of the family – gave a new dimension to the family estate when he took over in 1988. First of all, it made it possible to realize the dream of the previous generations by widening the wine growing area of the estate to the entire Loire Valley – from Sancerre to the Pays Nantais with the creations of 3 cellars. In 2015, Nicolas Bougrier joined the family estate. Today 2 generations work side by side to carry out their only goal: to reveal the best expression of the Loire Valley with the greatest respect for the people and the soil. This beautiful Rosé (50% Gamay, 50% Grolleau) from the Loire Valley is crisp and refreshing with vibrant aromas of strawberry and raspberry. Juicy and well-blanced, a long finish, it is a great rose to sip as an aperitif or to pair with light spicy food, salads, poultry dishes or fresh fruits.
- Carra Beaujolais-Villages Bistrot Pot Bottle 2016: Okay, here we are to what you would expect in this tasting … Domaine Manoir du Carra is located in the small town of Denice, south of Burgundy and in the heart of the Beaujolais area. The property dates back to 1850, and has been bequeathed from father to son for five generations. It is now owned by Jean-Noël Sambardier and his wife. The philosophy of the family has always been based on the practice of a viticulture attentive to and respectful of the environment.The working methods employed are simple, effective and adapted as wine making methods which respect the tradition, without neglecting the interest of certain technological advances. They are convinced that an understanding of the vine, in respect to biodiversity and natural balance, is essential to preserve the soil and better respect the environment. Their goal is vines that are self-sufficient in their environment. Proud of an ancestral tradition, Manoir du Carra is committed to harvesting all plots by hand. Manual harvesting may cost more, but, in terms of quality, the results are incomparable. After harvesting and sorting, the grapes are then sent to tanks for 4-18 days of fermentation, depending on the type of wine desired. Winemaking is conducted without the addition of sulfur and with meticulous temperature control. From Granitic and sandy soils, this bottling exhibits intense color, with hints of cherry and garnet, and to reveal aromas of red fruit dominated by cassis and strawberry. This Cuvée was specially made for the Parisian Bistros willing to offer easy drinking wines, with enough body to withstand local Cuisine from the Beaujolais region.