It's easy to understand why winemakers from the cooler regions of California's Sonoma Coast fall in love with Oregon's Willamette Valley. The Pacific Northwest excels at the same grapes that thrive in coastal California, where the cool-climate varieties of Burgundy are king. So when we found out that we could get our hands on wines from the sister project of Sonoma's Banshee Wines, we jumped at the opportunity! In fact, we loved them so much that we've featured two of Averaen's wines in March packages: their Willamette Valley Chardonnay and this small-lot Gamay Noir.
Fruit for this wine is sourced from two small plots in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and only four barrels were made, so we are lucky to get enough to share. While Gamay often brings to mind the fun, somewhat frivolous wines of Beaujolais Nouveau, this is a much more structured example that still showcases all of the grape's exuberant charm. Enjoy at a cool 16 C over the next 5 years.
Pretty aromatics of blackberry, raspberry, and tart cherries leap from the glass, with hints of violet, Szechuan pepper, and cloves emerging with air. Deeper, red fruit notes of plum and pomegranate linger in the background.
Medium bodied and dry, packed with tons of the sweet red fruit notes that we found on the nose. Flavours of dark cherry, raspberry pie filling, and field strawberry are supported by a bright beam of acidity that carries through on the finish. Tannins are fairly low (typical for Gamay Noir), which makes this a great candidate for a light chill in the fridge before enjoying.
Food versatility is a hallmark of Gamay, so reach for this to pair with anything from salmon to pork. The low tannins make it a great match for spice too, and would be fantastic with Korean BBQ.