The Perfect Summer Wine Hits Town—During the Coldest Week of the Year
The new limited release Gamay from Quails’ Gate’s is a throwback wonder.
I have all the time in the world for Quails’ Gate. They’re one of the founding members of the B.C. wine industry but they never go around crowing about it. At $18 their Chenin Blanc is arguably the best deal in the Okanagan, their pricey Stewart Family reserve wines are worth every pretty penny and they still do awesome impractical things like grow the grape chasselas. And so when this wine crossed my desk—bottled mere weeks ago—I was admittedly tickled.
It’s not that long ago that referencing Beaujolais Nouveau—that long past fad of South Burgundy—would have been the kiss of death for any serious winery. The wine—boozy grape juice that it had become—was the punchline of the wine world. But Beaujolais proper has seen it’s esteem grow by leaps and bounds over the past few years and it’s created a new respect for the long maligned gamay grape.
This is not supposed to be a serious wine—it is, after all, not even a month old—but even there the QG crew manages to create something dazzlingly fresh with electric jolt’s of light cherry and newly picked wild strawberries and a nice spicy undercurrent of pepper. It doesn’t have the gravitas or structure of a cru Beaujolais nor is it trying to. It’s a young wine that punches well above it’s weight class and I can think of worse pairing for roast turkey. Plus it allows you to role into Christmas dinner, plunk it on the table and say “This wine was made 5 weeks ago.”
Quails’ Gate Cailleteau Gamay Nouveau 2016
$19.50, 250 cases made