Yves Cuilleron, Gamay "Les Vignes d'à Côté"
A stunning red that shows how much more can be coaxed from this variety than the traditional Beaujolais wines we know so well. This is elegant, complex and fresh, with an intense nose of dark and red fruits, leading to a densely fruity palate with crunchy tannins and a long, crisp finish. It is a Gamay to adjust the quality settings and a wine that we look forward to serving all year round, but especially on warm summer days!
This champion wine-maker of the Rhône produces some of the most exclusive wines in the region. Cuilleron knows exactly what each plot is able to yield in terms of quality, style and character and in that regard is a master of all of the vines he tends. This wine is made from vines grown at high altitudes around the town of Bessey in the Chavanay sub-zone with its granitic and alluvial soils. Handpicked, de-stemmed and vinified in separate batches according the the plots in which they were grown, these grapes are treated in the same way that Cuilleron handles his single site Cote-Roties.
Minimal intervention allows for maximum expression as far as he is concerned, and that is what gives his wines such extraordinary character and quality across the whole range. Malolactic fermentation gives a creamier mouth-feel and reigns-in any over-exuberance from the zingy acidity found in Gamay, while the ageing for 8 months in used oak barrels to continue the softening of the wine's edges and adding no trace of wood characteristics, only a structure to showcase the grapes' wonderful flavours.
Yes, just a note; this is the 2020 vintage, which you might think is very youthful (to say the least). Well, it is; but these days that doesn't mean as much as it used to: I always ask if it is ready for drinking; in other words, is there any aspect of the wine that isn't quite right, or that will be better in a year or so. The answer here, because of the skill of the winemaker, is no! It's perfectly ready to drink and there is nothing I'd change now. It will change in time, but it won't get any better. 2020 did have something good to offer after all...
- Hard Cheeses
- Mature Cheeses
- Rhone Valley
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