A Couple Of Gamay Noirs

In France there are 3 levels of Beaujolais. At the bottom is AOC Beaujolais, next is Beaujolais Villages (38) then on top there are Cru Beaujolais (10). Beaujolais is made with Gamay Noir. Gamay Noir is also grown in Ontario. At one point a few years ago it seemed it was more popular in Ontario than it is now. In Ontario Gamay Noir represents 2.7% of the grapes used in all VQA wines.
Will go to the Fleurie Cru where the grapes are grown at higher altitudes, are light in style and aromatic. This one from Villa Ponciago is black cherry in colour. Lush notes of strawberries, raspberries, chocolate and cherry liqueur.
The tannins are moderate and substantial to justify ageing for 5 or six years. On the palate this is a firm wine and surprisingly austere. Rugged cherry notes predominate with raspberry kicking in. This wine is far from light and cheerful. I would suggest decanting an hour prior to pouring.
The wine has enough guts to handle roast beef or lamb or a spicy black bean and corn soup with lots of jalapeno peppers!
(La Réserve 2015, Appellation Fleurie Contrôlée, Villa Ponciago, Fleurie, France, 13.5%, $ 19.95, 750 mL, LCBO # 299917, Square Media Group Rating 89/100).
Vieni Estates is rather a new Canadian name to me but its recently released in the LCBO Pinot Noir was pretty good! What about its Gamay Noir? It is lighter in colour than the Ponciago we tried above. It has a bright ruby colour.
On the nose black cherry, raspberry and strawberry with toasty notes and a tiny bit of cloves. On the palate soft tannins and light fruity notes with those fruits we picked up on the nose with a bit of licorice. A delightful light weight wine with a short finish but with some character. Terribly drinkable. I have a favourite restaurant near the United Nations ( 356 East 51st) called Les Deux Amis and their Beaujolais was not particularly good. Man, pair this with their “Bucky Burger” and you’ll be taken to the moon!
Drink by end of 2019. Great with burgers or Santorini Cod. See recipe
(Vieni 2016 Gamay Noir, VQA Vinemount Ridge, Vieni Estates Inc., Beamsville, Ontario, $ 17.95, 12.5%, 750 mL, LCBO # 498519, Square Media Group Rating 88/100).

Click for the latest news

About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write." Email Robert Stephen