Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Birchwood Estate Wines 2003 Gamay Noir - $9.95

We opened this one late at night, thinking a light Beaujolais-style wine would be okay for this time of day (don’t want something heavy before bed) … we were right about it being good, but not about it being light. As seems to be the case these days Ontario is experimenting with the Gamay grape, and instead of light and fruity Beaujolais, we’re trying for more fuller, rounder, even ageable styles. A nose of blackberry, raspberry, and cherry with some sweet oak and vanilla. When the cork was initially pulled we found tartaric crystals, which usually signifies a finely crafted wine, some sediment also appeared in the bottom of our glasses, and in the bottle. On the initial taste, there was plenty of tannin backbone, almost aggressive; but once the wine sat open and was allowed to breathe, for about half an hour, the flavours really shone through … black current and cherries and a nice structure. This is not the first time I have been surprised by a fuller-bodied Gamay, and I know it won’t be the last. If this it the wave of the future for Ontario Gamay then I am all for it. Finally, as a late night snack we paired the wine with an old cheddar, nuts and dried berries – rustic for sure, but very delicious. Available at the winery only.

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