A vibrant, purple grape in the vineyard, Gamay is a thin-skinned variety that prefers granitic soils, which counterbalance the grape’s naturally high acidity. The variety thrives in cool climates, and the grapes tend to ripen early.
Gamay is a juicy grape, with lots of plush fruit flavors on the palate: fresh raspberry and crushed strawberry often dominate, with secondary tones of purple flowers. Wines made with the grape from special sites can also offer earthy tones, with pepper, stone and dried fruit sensations.
Best known for the purple wines it produces in the Beaujolais region of France, Gamay has been grown here since at least the 15th century. Although it gained popularity for its Beaujolais Nouveau, a youthful style of wine produced using carbonic maceration that is released on the third Thursday of November each year, Gamay can also produce more structured, complex selections, especially within the ten crus of Beaujolais. Wines meant for aging are produced by whole-berry maceration, yielding significantly more body.
Besides Beaujolais, Gamay is common in the Tours area of the Loire Valley, though it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to produce a more full-bodied style of wine.
It is also grown in Canada’s Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County, in some areas of Australia and in California.
It has perhaps seen the most success in the New World in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where it was introduced 30 years ago. A significant number of Willamette Valley wineries now produce well-balanced and attractive Gamay wines of depth and unique character.
Synonyms: Gamay Beaujolais, Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc
GC 2021 Convivial Red (Willamette Valley)Willamette ValleyThe fruit aromas of this Gamay Noir-Pinot Noir blend were maxed out ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$23
Vignobles Bulliat 2021 Roche Noire (Moulin-à-Vent)BeaujolaisA ripe, structured wine that has now developed with fine black fruits ...See Full Review$27
Stasis 2021 Gamay Noir (Santa Barbara County)Central CoastClassically fresh aromas of ripe berry and red currant mix with the ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$45
Stasis 2021 Murmur Vineyard Gamay Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Central CoastThere's a lot of complexity in this bottling, starting with aromas of ...See Full Review$52
Madson 2021 Gamay Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Central CoastIntense aromas of black raspberry, black pepper and crushed stone are focused ...See Full Review$36
Maison Roche de Bellene 2020 Bellenos Cuvée (Coteaux Bourguignons)BurgundyA blend of 80% Gamay from Beaujolais and 20% Pinot Noir from ...See Full Review$15
Joyce 2021 Russell Joyce Gamay Noir (San Benito)Central CoastThis is a serious, Cru-like take on Gamay, starting with tight raspberry, ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$35
Syncline 2020 Estate Gamay Noir (Columbia Gorge (WA))Washington OtherThis is a niche variety in the state, with this producer leading ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$45
Scenic Valley Farms 2021 Rosé (Willamette Valley)Willamette ValleyThis is a carbonic maceration blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, more ...See Full Review$15
Ridgecrest 2020 Old Vine Estate Gamay Noir (Ribbon Ridge)Willamette ValleyThe aromas seem muted, with notes of ember, herb and red fruit. ...See Full Review$30
Whitecliff Vineyard 2018 Gamay Noir (Hudson River Region)New York OtherThis light and juicy red offers tasty flavors of crushed strawberry and ...See Full Review$25
Sheldrake Point 2020 Estate Bottled Gamay Noir (Finger Lakes)Finger LakesBright, fruity aromas of papaya, strawberry and banana give this red an ...See Full Review$18
Rosina's Winery 2020 Gamay Noir (Hudson River Region)New York OtherAromas of cherry and blackberry are very mild on the nose. The ...See Full Review$28
Domaine Roux 2018 Héritage Pinot Noir-Gamay (Châteaumeillant)Loire ValleyPerfumed and smoothly textured, this wine is ripe and ready to drink. ...See Full Review$28
Clement et Florian Berthier 2019 Pinot Noir-Gamay (Coteaux du Giennois)Loire ValleyThis blend of mainly Pinot Noir with a touch of Gamay gives ...See Full Review$40
Failla 2019 Bjornson Vineyard Gamay Noir (Eola-Amity Hills)Willamette ValleyA sappy, tart and lightly leathery wine, this brings a subtle sophistication ...See Full Review$30
Stasis 2020 Murmur Vineyard Gamay Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Central CoastA snappy raspberry aroma pairs with light herb and freshly dug earth ...See Full Review$42
Jaffelin NV Rosé Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyRed-cherry and raspberry notes penetrate from nose to palate in this refreshing, ...See Full Review$23
Moillard-Grivot 2019 Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyStrikes of lemon and lime are softened by white blossom and toasted ...See Full Review$19
Moillard 2019 Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyTart green apples and greengage plums abound in this fresh-fruited blend of ...See Full Review$27
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