Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gamay As Steak Wine

Maybe you've heard of “La France Profound.” Its U.S. Equivalent might be “the heartland,” although I think the Australian expression “the back of beyond” is probably closer to the truth of it. It is the land in the center of France defined by the Central Massif. Just about smack in the middle of it is the little town of Marcilly-le-Châtel, where Jacky Logel and Odile Verdier grow gamay grapes and make wine. Their appellation is called Côtes du Forez, and while wine has been made in the region since 980, AOC status was granted only in 2000. Domaine Verdier-Logel is one of a very few independent grower/makers in the region; most of the wines are produced by Les Vignerons Foréziens, the co-op in the village of Trelins. Few of these wines make it into the U.S.; this one is imported by Wine Traditions out of Falls Church, VA.

Domaine Verdier-Logel “Volcanique” (not vintaged; most of the fruit is from 2008): It opens with aromas of black raspberry and a hint of spice; bright red and black berry fruits follow, with a bit of mineral character and quite firm tannins. Imagine Beaujolais as steak wine. The wine was made from organically grown vines on vocanic soil, as the name indicates. According to their website, superstar sommelier Eric Beaumard gave guidance in production. At $14 a bottle (from Table Wine) this is a serious value. As is the case with Beaujolais, this responds well to 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

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