Gamay. A variety that I’m growing to love. I remember Kermit Lynch memorably describing Beaujolais as ‘the one night stand of wines.’ His point: not every wine has to be serious. Not every wine drinking experience needs to be a great one. I’m sure there are points chasers out there who set themselves a threshold score: ‘no wine rated lower than 92 shall pass my lips!’ But this is to fail to understand what wine is about.
Gamay doesn’t make the sorts of wines that score in the mid-90s with the major critics. This says something about Gamay, but it says something about the critics, too. For me, Gamay can be profound. It can make wines that thrill and enchant. Wines that draw you in with their prettiness, but then compel you to stay as you realize there’s substance and complexity to them. They can have layers. If you just care to look, you find them.
Of course, not all Gamay is interesting. Most is fairly dull. But this applies to any grape variety. When it’s good, though, it’s very good, and Gamay’s time is coming soon. There’s more great Gamay around than ever. The natural wine movement has really helped, because this is a variety that seems to respond well to a natural approach. Tonight I’m drinking a lovely Gamay.
Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Côte de Brouilly 2013 Beaujolais, France
12.5% alcohol. Wild ferment, very low sulfur dioxide levels. Wonderful nose of floral red cherry fruit with a sappy, herby edge and some sweet raspberry notes. Lovely perfume. The palate is very fresh with pure, grippy raspberry fruit. Nice freshness and detail. Incredibly drinkable with no excess weight: lean and pure. 92/100 (£12.80 Savage Selection)
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7 thoughts on “Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Côte de Brouilly 2013”
Wine is a drink and should be refreshing. Gamay fullfils this requirement often, even more often than not and normally at a great price. Only ‘growing to love?’ I’m surprised! You are right that it can be great of course… And who honestly cares about scores when drinking a wine?
As mature Gamay is often liked to mature Pinot Noir I’m surprised more Pinot lovers haven’t tried it.
Beaujolais sells quite well in my area, I find it very versatile when folks are planning a dinner party whatever.
GUYS – is it just my uneducated palate or does a quality Gamay taste better slightly cool compared to say Pinot Noir – ALSO – any particular bubble recommendations that you have for Jamie and I to try for the World Famous 🙂 New Year’s Eve Blind Tasting?
It’s just your palate William, they should both be nice n cool. ^∆^ Maybe stick Bellavista Gran Cuvée Brut (not Saten) in there. Super stuff.
When the producer is right, I find it hard not to love Gamay. For me it means more often than not the ones who are not making “Burgundian” Bojos. Nice to read about a solid one from 2013; I’ve not enjoyed 2012s nearly as much as the wine of the three previous vintages. For your blind fizz tasting I would recommend some Gran Reserva from Recaredo. Some really high quality Champagnesque stuff.
thanks for the recommendation