A mini tasting of five Gamays from Beaujolais

beaujolais gamay

A mini tasting of five Gamays from Beaujolais

I’m hanging with a group on the lake in Muskoka, Ontario for a few days. Celebrated Canadian winemaker Thomas Bachelder is one of the party and he brought some Beaujolais for us to taste and discuss: he’s taking an interest in Gamay, so he wanted to look at different expressions of the grape. We tried five wines, and also a magnum version of one of the five. These are my notes.

Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes Côte de Brouilly Cuvée des Ambassades 2016 Beaujolais, France
12.5% alcohol. This is made from the best 12 hectares from a 27 hectare estate. This is very bright and fruity with lovely supple, fresh red cherry and raspberry fruit. Very linear and pretty in a direct, fruity style. 88/100

Clos de la Roilette Cuvée Tardive Fleurie 2016 Beaujolais, France (bottle)
This is concentrated and has a lovely fine-grained mineral drive under the sweet, lush, finely spiced fruit. Has a very sweet, seamless fruity character. This is really lovely: it has freshness but it flirts with over-ripeness and gets away with it well. Hints of cured meat and fine spiciness. Compelling. 92/100

Clos de la Roilette Cuvée Tardive Fleurie 2016 (magnum)
This is a bit tighter than the bottle with sweet cherries and raspberried and a bit of savoury grip. Nice weight here: it’s a little tighter. 92/100

Pascal Aufranc Chénas En Rémont Vignes de 1939 2016 Beaujolais, France
This has a lovely sweet, open red cherry fruit with some meatiness and a nice green sappy edge. I like the floral fruit and the pretty character, with a nice fine-grained structure. Has a bit of whole-bunch character. 90/100

Foillard Morgon 2016 Beaujolais, France
There’s a nice density and crunch here with lovely sweet raspberry and black cherry fruit. This has purity and precision with a slight sappiness. Really focused and fresh with lovely fruit and some good structure. A lovely wine with real precision and depth. 94/100

Maurice et Sébastien Besson Morgon Vielles Vignes 2014 Beaujolais, France
This got 97 points and platinum from Decanter World Wine Awards. I have no idea how. Grainy and grippy with some sweet cherry and plum fruit. Quite structured and made in a Pinot style. But it’s slightly oxidative with an appley edge to the sweet fruit. 88/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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