A delightfully fruity, supple grape, Gamay is the red variety behind Beaujolais. A little Gamay is also found in the lesser-known vineyards of Burgundy, the Touraine region of the Loire and in California.
In the Cru areas of Beaujolais (in 10 special villages like Fleurie and Juliénas), Gamay becomes sturdier and more complex, lending itself to light oak aging. With maturity, these wines can take on the 'gamey' aspect of top Burgundy.
Gamay generally goes it alone in Beaujolais and elsewhere. The exception is Burgundy, where it's blended with Pinot Noir to form the rarely-seen Bourgogne-Passe-Tout-Grains.
Varying from light red to deep purple in top vintages, Gamay is best enjoyed young. Red summer berry fruits and soft tannins make it a refreshing summertime red, best enjoyed chilled (no more than 30 minutes in the fridge) with a lavish picnic!
Light red in color with ripe berry fruit and soft tannins
Wines to Try
Domaine Pardon Fleurie, Domaine Sigaux Brouilly
Beaujolais, Napa Valley, Loire Valley
- Beaujolais Nouveau is released on the third Thursday of each November.
- If you like Gamay, you might also like: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - Italy's softest, fruitiest red. Pinot Noir - for a slightly richer style, try a good red Burgundy.