The intensity and force of a wine you are searching for may be based on strong preferences as to your style of wine. However being fair to the wine where you are drinking it, who you are drinking it with, what mood you are in and most importantly what food you may be having it with may determine the wine you open.
Gamays are usually a bit light on their feet so if you are a Barossa fanatic don’t bother with Gamay as you may call it too light and flitty.
In this case we try a Beaujolais Cru from Régnié.
Medium ruby in colour and transparent. On the nose brimming with red cherry, blackberry with somewhat of a light mocha almost chocolatey frame. On the palate the tannins are soft and the acid is very well under control. Having made jam with some small sour cherries from my daughter’s tree the taste of the wine reminds me of that sour cherry jam not all that sour due to the amount of sugar in the jam. It is lightweight indeed but can we say this is elegant or sensual like a good Pinot Noir? The wine does have the body of a French or Okanagan Pinot Noir. I would say it is not quite elegant but it is no clodhopper. It has a certain purity to it not treated with oak but has spent 8 months in cement vats so you are getting the “naked grape”. Short finish. Drink by the end of 2022.
For food it would suit a farm raised salmon but doesn’t have the power to match fresh wild caught sockeye. It does have enough oomph to pair nicely with beer can spiced chicken. You might want to marinate the chicken in beer as opposed to stuffing it with a beer can though.
(Domaine Tano Péchard, Les Bruyeres 2019, AOP Régnié, $16.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 11355, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 91/100).
Wine drinker profile: One who appreciates a lighter red wine to sip on its own or pair with farm raised salmon lightly basted with sesame seed oil and oyster sauce.
We move to the lowest tier of French wine known as Vin de France. The grapes in this tier can be anywhere from France. This does not mean the wine is of low quality but not made according to the rules applicable to the two upper tiers of French wine This is a Gamay Noir from Henry Fessy.
It has a transparent black cherry colour. Blackberry predominates on the nose but there is some sweet black cherry, smoke and a twist of milk chocolate. On the palate it is a bit grippy with smoke, blackberry, black cherry and pomegranate. It has a short and somewhat of a dilute finish. This would go with a lamb stew, black bean veggie burgers or a simple herbed fresh tomato-based pasta sauce.
Drink in 2022.
(Henry Fessy 2019 Gamay Noir, Vin De France, $16.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 556571, 750 mL 13.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 87/100).
Wine drinker profile: You are not swayed by this wine being the lowest tier of French wine. You are happy to sip as is or pair with food. You are happy with a simple wine of decent quality. You are not out to wow anyone.