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
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
Maison Roche de Bellene NV Cuvée Bellenos Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyLime and lemon acidity juxtaposes honeyed, toasted flavors of baked apple and ...See Full Review$18
Baron Aîmé NV Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyFresh, cutting red-apple and pear flavors are accented by bursts of redcurrant ...See Full Review$20
Cave de Bissey NV Méthode Traditionnelle Brut Rosé (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyHints of vanilla biscuits accent redcurrant and raspberry flavors in this bright, ...See Full Review$25
Sainchargny NV Extatic Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundySubtly herbal, green notes of lime and green apple on the nose ...See Full Review$20
Henri de Villamont NV Brut Rosé (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyA trace of blossomy perfume introduces this intensely fruity, juicy rosé sparkler ...See Full ReviewN/A
Sainchargny NV Catharsis Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundyRed-plum and strawberry flavors are boldly extracted in this deep-pink sparkling blend ...See Full Review$21
Moingeon 2019 Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne)BurgundySlim in footprint but supple and ripe in texture, this traditional-method blend ...See Full Review$22
Joyce 2020 Gamay Noir (San Benito)Central CoastFresh raspberry, tarragon, white-pepper and mossy earth aromas show on this bottling ...See Full Review$35
Cooper Mountain 2019 Gamay Noir (Willamette Valley)Willamette ValleyHere the Beaujolais grape is given a tannic base that punches up ...See Full Review$30
Concentric Wine Project 2020 Gamay Noir (Columbia Valley (WA))Columbia ValleyGamay is a rare beast in the state, with this producer making ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$28
Division 2019 Methven Family Vineyards Cru Gamay Noir (Eola-Amity Hills)Willamette ValleyCranberry and raspberry fruit are more dried than fresh, with some leathery ...See Full Review$30
Pellegrini 2020 Nouveau of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)SonomaMade entirely from Pinot Noir that underwent carbonic fermentation and was then ...See Full Review$40
Division 2018 Redford-Wetle Vineyard Renardière Gamay Noir (Eola-Amity Hills)Willamette ValleyLeathery and astringent, there's little fruit to be found in this wine. ...See Full Review$35
Domaine Jérome Marcadet 2020 Pinot Noir Gamay Pinot Noir-Gamay (Cheverny)Loire ValleyThe dense texture of this wine promises well. It supports the black ...See Full Review$17
Domaine Jérome Marcadet 2020 Rosé (Cheverny)Loire ValleyThe Loire east and west meet in this rosé of Pinot Noir ...See Full Review$17
Jean Loron 2020 Jean Gamay Noir (Vin de France)France OtherScents of cranberry, baked plum and vanilla introduce this Gamay. Flavors of ...Best BuySee Full Review$10
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