Gamay on the double.
But neither from its usual home!
Henry Marionnet Touraine (AOC) 2015, 12%, €16.65
This Loire red is produced from hand-picked Gamay grapes and the recommendation is to serve it between 8-9 degrees in summer, a few degrees higher in winter.
Mid ruby colour. Raspberry and strawberry figure in the reasonably intense aromas. Juicy and fruity, a touch of spice, excellent acidity and a decent enough finish. The producers say it is imperative to drink it fresh and young, that is to say between 1 and 18 months. I’m afraid I’m a bit late as regards the recommended age, but this 2015 still tasted lively and fresh. Still, Highly Recommended. Might even be Very Highly if I can get a more recent vintage!
The large Touraine area is not usually associated with the Gamay grape but Henry Marionnet, passionate about traditional and natural methods, is generally considered to be the ace producer of the varietal in the Loire.
Some unusual notes (maybe something’s lost in translation) on the website.
1 The harvest is entirely picked by hand with great care and that almost exclusively by women.
2 It is the wine of a whole meal….You will feel good tasting it because the dishes served will appear more light.
3 because of its lightness, it is able “to be drunk with large swipes”.
Radford Dale “Thirst” Gamay WO Stellenbosch South Africa 2018, 10.0%, €20.95
This one kind of grows on you. Unless you shed it first.
A strikingly light red colour and a funky aroma are the initial greetings from this Gamay, officially classified as a light red. It is indeed light on the palate, expressive red fruits and no shortage of tannin before a lengthy finish with a lingering bitter bite (a little reminiscent of Campari). As well as this Gamay, they also produce a Cinsault and a Clairette Blanche.
In the Thirst series, the South African vineyard’s aim is to make refreshing, lower alcohol, lower sulphur, wines, with minimal intervention. “We have not stripped them of any natural components and they are neither fined nor filtered and can show an amazing haze."
"Thirst wines are like a live rock concert rather than a manufactured, boyband studio album. Our aim is to express their environment, their varieties and vintage, in the most natural way. Our simple logic is the less you manipulate a wine, the better it is - and we therefore capture its integrity, energy and individuality.”
If you like funky rock, try this. If you fancy Boyzone, you're outta time. The initial aromas may not be that inviting, but this light fruity wine gets friendlier as you get to know it.