2016 Domaine Marchand-Tawse, Gamay, Coteaux Bourguignons, France.
This wonderfully textural and pretty Marchand-Tawse 100% Gamay Coteaux Bourguignons is made from grapes sourced from two sustainably grown clay and limestone soil vineyards located mainly in the village of Flagey-Echézaux with a smaller portion coming from the village of Vosne- Romanée, which give this unique Cote de Nuits Gamay a real sense of terroir, clearly drinking with the soul of a Burgundy with a Pinot Noir like character, while unmistakably dark fruited Gamay at heart. This is a stunning value, from a region not known for bargains, with sensational transparency and purity, once again proving the commitment and passion for quality at this domaine under the direction of Pascal Marchand, the French Canadian, ex Comte Armand winemaker, who along with his partner Moray Tawse created this label and purchased the famed Domaine Maume in 2012, along the talents Mark Fincham (who I have tasted with a few times over the years) and Thomas Dinel in the cellar, gaining access to some of the regions best plots and are making an incredible collection of wines. Part of the new wave of vignerons and micro-négociants who, with their partner-growers, embrace organic and biodynamic farming practices while rejecting dogma, Marchand and team work hard to maintain traditions, but also embrace modern techniques as long as they don’t take from being as natural as possible in line with the mission and passion here. This is really good stuff, and while I have focused on Marchand-Tawse’s outstanding set of red and white Burgundies many, many times over the years here on grapelive.com, this was my first time trying their little Gamay, and I can tell you, I won’t forget this one, it easily fits in with their set Nuits-Saint-George reds, their awesome Meursault and my personal favorite their Morey-Saint-Denis, Rue de Vergy, which is one of the best kept secrets in Burgundy.
The 2016 Gamay Coteaux Bourguignons unfolds quickly in the glass, starting with tiny hint of earthy reduction before revealing a delicate spicy and floral bouquet with violets, rose oil and dried herbs leading to a smooth tannin structured medium bodied palate of blackberry, blueberry, sweet cherry and tangy plum fruits as well as racy acidity, mineral tones, a light sense of walnut, truffle, minty anise and just the right amount of peppery stemmy bite. Tasting this Marchand-Tawse Gamay with winemaker Russell Joyce, who does a very limited all carbonic bottling of true Gamay Noir here on the central coast, which is one of the best I’ve tasted in the state, it as mentioned above by both of us, how Pinot (or Burgundy) like this wine drinks, leaving us impressed, this is a wine that transcends its varietal make up. Marchand, Fincham and Dinel used 100% whole-cluster here with a traditional (semi-carbonic) fermentation with natural or indigenous yeasts in steel vats with daily punchdowns to ensure extraction, which heightens the dark purple/garnet color and gives this wine spine, then after primary the Gamay was rested in used French oak with a combination of barrique and larger demi-muids (casks) for close to a year with another couple of months in vat (with two rackings) before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. All the vineyard and cellar work were done to the lunar calendar in keeping with biodynamic principles, all to showcase the complexity of its Echézaux and Vosne-Romanée terroirs. I would bet this 2016 will last a surprisingly long time, but serious I can’t imagine waiting on this one, I just want to pop every bottle I have, drink this brilliant Gamay anytime you can, it is really worth searching out and stocking up on.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive