There’s nothing better than Gamay Noir, a.k.a. Beaujolais. What a sec, did I just type that? The truth of the matter is, I’ve never had Gamay Noir, (or Beaujolais for that matter), before trying this bottle. After trying it, I will tell you that it isn’t my favorite, and I don’t think that it’s meant to be a “favorite”. What it is meant to be is a food friendly, daily drinking wine, and it delivers. At Andrew Lane, proprietor Drew Lane and crew are trying to put this varietal on a few dinner tables as an alternative to the Cabernet that is so ubiquitous with the area. The only problem is, there are only a few acres of it produced in all of California, so hopefully demand doesn’t out pace supply.
This bottle worked perfect for this 21st edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday, hosted by Lenn of Lenndevours, where we a challenged to pair a wine with our favorite food, or Vice Versa. We paired it with broiled Salmon and asparagus, and it seemed to work perfectly. I think Salmon is my favorite fish. The texture, buttery flavor, and simplicity are accentuated when grilled or broiled in my humble opinion. I like to make a little aluminum foil boat to keep all the juices close to the fish when cooking, and hit is with a little S & P, Butter, and a squeeze of lemon, or give it a teriyaki bath 30 minutes before cooking (we used the former method this time). The fish mellowed hints of tar and tobacco in the wine, and the fruity cherry character came through following each succulent bite. Overall, this is a good wine, and a good value at $18. Just make sure you enjoy it with a meal (which some would argue, is the only way to drink wine).
Wine: 2004 Andrew Lane Gamay Noir (a.k.a. Gamay, Gamay Noir a Jus Blanc, Beaujolais)
Notes: Light purple with a light-medium bodied palate, notes of Cherries, Tar, Tobacco, a nice finish with minimal tannins. Enhanced by food, and meant to be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years.
Score: 86 pts JAT
Full disclosure: This wine was a press sample.