I love gamay. I don't know if it came on me late in life or was an early love, but all of the sudden it was there, the grape I could drink every night and not get tired of. Realizing there are plenty of people in the world who don't "get" the grape, (thanks to oceans of bad, bad, bad beaujolais--nouveau and others) I decided to wage a war, one drinker at a time.
We had fifteen people to fourteen bottles and we tasted them blind.Only one, Frits,
copped to liking the grape. Frits saw that there was a Georges DuBouef on the list, "This is a great wine," he said about the 2005 nouveau. I kept my mouth shut. i couldn't wait to see if Frits could pick it out.
When he hit #3, he declared the wine "weird" and then he second thought himself, "disgusting," was what he finally decided as the descriptor. In the end he thought that the nouveau was either #3 or #13. #3 was the Dubouef
and #13 was one of the god's of the beaujolais, Lapierre ($19).
I snuck in two gamays from other regions, Olivier Cousin's from Anjou ($15) and the La Souteronne from Herv Souhaut up in the northern part of the Ardeche ($14) a region I call the Catskills of the Rhone. Here's where it gets exciting. At least for me. This was an incredible lesson on terroir and it was easy to identify these wines. The Ardeche had profound aroma of ink and flowers and a touch of animal-like syrah. The gamay from Anjou had a meat and raspberries quality. While it didn't rate in the top three with my guests, it did with me.
The top wine --bar non--was the Cuve Tardive, Clos de La Roilette, Fleurie 2004 ($19). Followed by the two aforementioned non-Beaujolais gamay.
But according to my notes, #10--one of my all-time favorite wines, the Claude Devignes Morgon, Cote de Py: "an important wine, young, yet expressive and tight. Keep for the long term." At $19, it is too expensive but so is everything these days. I'll buy more.