Chateau Grand Traverse Gamay Noir

Maker: Chateau Grand Traverse, Traverse City, Michigan, USA

Region: Old Mission AVA, Michigan, USA

Grape: Gamay

Vintage: 2009 (2008 vintage pictured)

ABV: 12.5%

Appearance: Light burgundy with long, fairly thick legs

Nose: Plums, leather, black pepper, cherry. For once a back label is dead on.

On the palate: Light mouth feel, fruity tart cherry up front. As it sits in the glass, the leather and black pepper notes come to the fore. There’s still plenty of fruit, though. A delightful dichotomy of deliciousness. Yes, I just wrote that.

Finish: Clean finish with some lingering tastes of cherry juice and the ubiquitous black pepper.

Parting words: The name Gamay isn’t well known, but many people do know the name of its most famous product, Beaujolais. It has always had its detractors. Two different Dukes of Burgundy outlawed the cultivation of “disloyal Gaamez in the 15th century. For the record, I am a fan of Gamay, especially in Beaujolais. I was surprised by the peppery nose but it gives it depth and interest that I wasn’t expecting. The pepper moves it closer to estate or cru Beaujolais (according to the internet anyway) than the Beaujolais-Village I drink to wash down my pork chops. This is a very good, food-friendly, but not dumbed down, wine. Recommended.

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