2013 RPM Gamay Noir (El Dorado, California)

I first tried this wine at a restaurant a couple of months ago. It was reasonably priced on the list and I happen to love Gamay and Beaujolais. I am also known as the resident wine geek among my co-workers, so they trusted me to make the call. I was hoping for drinkable and wound up liking it so much I hunted it down and ordered three bottles at a price in the high $30s per bottle after overpaying for shipping. That’s just crazy for American Gamay when you can get fantastic Beaujolais for $30 or less, but whatever. Apparently RPM is one of the very few American producers of actual Gamay, with most of what used to be produced as Gamay or Gamay Beaujolais in America apparently being Valdigue or some other thing (some of which have been pretty nice themselves, oddly enough).

Anyway, yesterday was a hard day and this called out to me from the cellar like the potion from Alice in Wonderland: “Drink Me”.

The color was a deep, pure ruby. Bright, fresh red fruit on the nose matched on the palate by bright acidity and exuberant red fruited strawberry, red raspberry and a bit of sour cherry. No petillance but so incredibly fresh and lively in the mouth that it gave some semblance of the sensation. Although I can’t claim it is terribly complex in terms of things like earth or sous bois or spices there was significant complexity in the fruit flavors themselves. The freshness, acidity and balance is superb - it’s excellent food wine - and the Gamay typicity of the wine is perfectly en pointe. The tannins were fine-grained with medium grip and finish was long and clean. I’d love to throw this in a blind tasting of Beaujolais and watch people spin. This is a joyful, happy, tasty wine that gave a lift to my spirits and my day.

So here’s where I go on a little rant. I had a 2000 Pegau Cuvee Reservee on Monday night and it was excellent wine. I’m guessing most critics would give the Pegau a higher point score than this wine. The Pegau is more complex, it’s more ageworthy, it’s more subtle, and so on and so forth. On some level it’s simply “better” wine. But the Pegau never moved me emotionally while this particular wine made me happy and had me craving every lip-smacking drop. Not meaning to bag on a renowned producer like Pegau but there’s a place in this world for delicious, fun wine and this certainly qualifies. I’m glad I have a couple more bottles.

Wade - Fun is good! Wine should be fun, and I’ve had many memorable moments from wines that were 'point’less. Is this a new winery? I’ve never heard or come across them before.

Great note and commentary. Thanks.

ButButBut…you can never, but never find a Beaujolais that shows the terroir of ElDoradoCnty, Wade. [snort.gif]

Most of what was once known as Napa Gamay or GamayBeaujolais in Calif was either PinotNoir or Valdigue. But there are a fair number of authentic
plantings of true GamayNoir a jus Blanc. I particularly like the Bone-Jolly from EdmundsStJohn. And BrickHouse makes a good one up in Oregon.

But it makes no sense to buy an EdStJ Bone-Jolly for $20 when you can buy from KermitLynch a MarcelLaPierre Morgon that is BioDynamic and Natural and smells/tastes
like a Kansas out-house on a hot July day, but at least has authentic Beaujolais terroir, for $50. [stirthepothal.gif]

LaPierre is not fifty-bucks, Tom. Perhaps you need a new ladle for the pot-stirrer?!

I’m afraid he’s right on that one Tom. A week ago I almost picked up a couple of bottles of the Lapierre Morgon for $28 but found some '07 Musar red instead so sensible budgetary choices intervened.

Still for anyone who professes to love Gamay and Beaujolais the RPM is a heck of a nice bottle. Something different and off the beaten path.