Gamay Vieilles Vignes, Abbaye de Mont, Mont-sur-Rolle 2013, Ville de Lausanne
Vieilles vignes means old vines, well, how old? You may ask. In this case between twenty to thirty years. Vines can continue to produce winemaking grapes for about 200 years. The older the vine, the better the wine. But the older the vines, the smaller quantity of grapes produced.
Gamay, around and about since approximately the 15th centaury, is widely planted in Switzerland but its home is Beaujolais in France. When blended with Pinot Noir it creates Dôle. It can also be vinified as a white wine and is the grape variety used in Beaujolais Nouveau (quickly fermented grapes to make cheap and cheerful easy drinking wine to celebrate the end of harvest.)
Gamay produces mainly light bodied, early drinking, fruity wines with little tannin. In its youth it expresses aromas of fresh raspberries and strawberries, which change to dried fruit scents as it ages.
Often underestimated and considered as a secondary variety to Pinot Noir, Gamay was even banned in some areas of France hundreds of years ago by a Duke who considered it too inferior to the noble Pinot Noir. As a result, the Duke pulled out all the Gamay and planted Pinot.
Even though it has been underrated and has had to constantly compete with Pinot Noir, Gamay has recently gained new respect and come back into fashion. Yes!
Mont-sur-Rolle where the vineyard is situated is a small village in “La Côte” region of the Vaud canton near Nyon.
Nose -Dried berries, cloves, black olives and pomegranate.
Palate – A slight spiciness mingled with the dried berries, good structure. Well balanced and a nice finish.
Food match – Grilled fresh salmon with poached fennel, capers and cherry tomatoes.
Mood match – Your palate might be a bit exhausted from all the rich pre Christmas dinners and celebrations and could need to relax a little. Nothing better than a Gamay to put you in a quiet, subdued mood and let the simplicity of this uncomplicated wine and dish take over your senses.
Tip – It’s quite nice to have this type of red a little bit fresh so chill ever so slightly before serving.
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Nina Bobillier is a wine reviewer and guide. email@example.com