You may have enjoyed a wine made from the Gamay grape varietal, but not even realized it. If you have tasted Beaujolais Nouveau at Thanksgiving, then you have tried Gamay. These inexpensive, young, light and fruity wines are fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November.
Beaujolais is a French wine appellation and geographical region at the far south of the famous wine region of Burgundy, more well-known as the home of Pinot Noir. As is typical in Old World winemaking regions, the wines are referred to by the name of the region instead of the grape.
There are three levels of Beaujolais wines. The first level is labelled Beaujolais, the second level is Beaujolais Villages (where the grapes are grown in specified communes) and the third level represents the ten 'crus' where the premium wines are made (Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié). Wines in this last group are more full-bodied, darker in color, and are significantly more ageworthy. This cru category offers dependability, quality and affordability for wines from Burgundy.
Gamay makes a great spring and summer red. I love this Morgon wine that we’ll be tasting on May 16.
Maison Albert Bichot Morgon “Les Charmes” 2015, Specially priced at $19.99
Low tannins and medium body with ripe cherry and blackberry fruit. Perfumed, smooth and mouth-filling with alluring damson fruit, balanced acidity and a mineral finish. Aged for 10 ten months in oak. Wine Enthusiast 90 points.