If you know Beaujolais Nouveau , you have to know the Gammay variety . In France they have a National Holiday which is the Beaujolais day where all French people drink the first wine made of the season and this is made all based on Gammay.
1- Variety of Gamay red wine
– The Gamay variety is of Burgundy origin .
– It is a very diversified variety that includes a group of materials with colored pulp (Gamay tintorera).
– It comes from the crossing of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc.
– The most used denomination is Gamay noir à jus blanc.
This variety is known as:
3- Characteristics of the Gammay grape:
In size small, compact medium and uneven with shaped cylindrical shoulders marked and peduncle very short and without lignify.
-Medium large size .
-Thick skin and violet to bluish black color.
-Circular section and slightly elliptical profile.
-Difficult to detach from their pedicels.
– Soft pulp without pigmentation (there are clones with slight or even marked coloring of this pulp) and that is very juicy, without peculiar aromas.
-Medium vigor , with thick shoots and usually early lignified, erect or semi-erect and high fertility.
-Of flare and early maturation (first season).
-With abundant clusters.
The designations of origin (AOC) of the Gamay, in France are:
- Burgundy, Burgundy-Passe Tout Grains
- Châtillon en Diois
- Crémant de Bourgogne
- Coteaux du Giennois
- Coteaux du Loir
- Côtes d’Auvergne
- Côtes du Forez
- Côtes du Marmandais
- Roannaise coast
- Côtes de Toul
- Entraygues-Le Fel
- Gamay (Ancenis grape)
- Mâcon, Upper Mâcon
- Loire rosé
- Rosé des Riceys
- Saint Pourçain
- Wines from Thouarsais
- Savoy wines
4- Ampelographic description of the Gamay strain:
– Sumidades with lying hairs of medium or low density.
– Young leaves are yellow with tan areas.
– The adult leaves are whole or 5-lobed.
– The foliar sinuses are open.
– The underside of the leaves has low density erect hairs.
– The berries are elliptical and short.
5- Characteristics of the Gamay variety:
– Sensitive to physiological, nutritional and pathological shifting.
– Very sensitive to frost .
– Sensitive to burns .
– Sensitive to powdery mildew.
– Sensitive to botrytis.
– Sensitive to black-rot and wood fungi .
– Requires long pruning .
6- Oenological potential of the Gamay grape:
- It produces very acid musts .
- Interesting for young, highly colored and fruity wines, poor in tannins and sometimes lacking in remarkable aromas.
- Base del típico vino Beaujolais Nouveau.
- Traditionally vinified at high temperatures and with whole bunches and pressed in the vats, subjecting the must to numerous pump-overs. These techniques are possibly the predecessors of current carbonic maturation.
7- The tasting of the wines from the Gamay strain:
Deep red layer with violet reflections, rarely dark, limpid and bright.
On the nose:
Aromas of red fruits (cassis, strawberry, raspberry) and sometimes of spices.
Light, fresh and fruity for young wines. Strong and powerful for the ‘crus’ of more than 5 years.
8- Profile and characteristics of the wines from Gamay:
Little tannin , the wines are kept for a short time and must be consumed young.
They are light , fruity and very pleasant.
The wines from the 10 “crus” of Beaujolais, like those of some of the Val de Loire, much more tannin, can be kept for 5 or 10 years , improving their quality.
9- Gamay wine pairing:
– Perfect to accompany soft meats such as poultry or veal.
-It can also accompany poached or steamed fish .