A comparison of two American Gamays

Over the weekend, Jean and I decided to do a comparative tasting of two of our favorite domestic Gamays, Edmmunds St. John Bone-Jolly from the Sierra Foothills of CA and Chateau Grand Traverse Gamay from the Old Mission Peninsula of MI.
2017 Edmunds St. John Gamay Noir Bone-Jolly (El Dorado County) started out with a bouquet of strawberries and a light mouthfeel that I would have judged to be from a rose had I tasted it blind. With some time in the air, however, the wine took on weight and the fruit darkened to more of dark cherry character. Throughout, it had enough acidity for a sense of freshness and it has the balance to develop (under screwcap) for a few years.
2017 Chateau Grand Traverse Gamay Noir "Limited Release" (Old Mission Peninsula) is bottled under cork and started out of the gates as a darker and heavier wine than the Bone Jolly, but still is light on its feet and of medium-light body. Not quite as acidic as the Bone-Jolly, it still was in no danger of being considered soft. Plenty of dark cherryish fruit promises at least a couple more years of life to this wine.
In the end, the similarities of the two wines far outweighed any differences. The Bone-Jolly is lighter in color and a bit lighter on the palate and may also outlive the Grand Traverse. Both were utterly delicious and a nice accompaniment to roast d'Artagnan pheasant with risotto and asparagus (I had water with the asparagus).
Mark Lipton
Reply to
Mark Lipton
If you can get BC wines from the Okanagan Valley, you should look out for Blue Mountain Gamay, which Stephen Spurrier, in Decanter, declared was the best one he'd tried outside the Beaujolais region. Their PN is also excellent.
Reply to
graham
Ah, what does Stephen Spurrier know? :P Alas, I don't see wines from the Okanagan Valley anywhere that I shop. Years ago, my mother came back from a trip to BC raving about the wines of the Okanagan, but they just don't seem to make it down here (perhaps because of limited quantities).
Mark Lipton
Reply to
Mark Lipton
Thanks for notes, both (and the pheasant sound great). WSearcher actually shows the MI wine at a shop across the river from me, I may stop in when I'm in Rockland in couple weeks. The ESJ I alreafy have!
Reply to
DaleW
I'll be interested to hear your impressions. I should have mentioned that both of these wines resemble each other far more closely than they do any Cru Beaujolais I can think of. The fruit profile is quite distinct. Dare I say that they display some American terroir?
Mark Lipton
Reply to
Mark Lipton
to hear your impressions. I should have mentioned
I hope they display some terroir! I agree the ESJ is it's own thing, not very Beaujolaisish, but that's a good thing!
Reply to
DaleW

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