Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Paul Mathew 2008 Knight's Valley Gamay Noir
Another nice find from the Wine Mine in Oakland! The Paul Mathew 2008 Knight's Valley Gamay Noir cost $13.99 (MSRP $16) and clocks in at 13.4% alcohol. It's appearance is a translucent cherry color tending toward purple at the edges. Slight nose, but in the mouth bright cherry notes (reminded me of Hi-C cherry flavored beverages) and a bit gamey. After a few days sitting in my fridge, I finished it off last night and found additional flavors of cinnamon and tobacco, which were kind of bizarre to get from gamay.
This is a great wine for the summer, it's light, fruity, and tastes good chilled. Try it instead of a rose with some lighter fare, as the acidity probably won't be as sharp as a rose.
I also like this wine because it's small production - only 133 cases produced from a 60-year old, two acre plot in Calistoga. The NYT's wine writer, Eric Asimov, had an article today about the difficulty of finding good, cheap and interesting American reds. I especially found myself shaking my head in agreement with this sentence: "In effect, then, California produces a small amount of top-flight wine along with an ocean of generic wine that seeks to imitate the top echelon, often through artifice like oak substitutes and additives. All too often, the choices are expensive cabernet or chardonnay, and imitation expensive cabernet or chardonnay."
Asimov's take mirrors my own opinion and findings as a wine drinker who mainly stays within the $10-$20 a bottle price range. Interesting and unique wines are difficult to find from the U.S. But they can be found, and some, like this gamay, can be utterly enjoyable.
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