2016 Le Temps des Copains, Gamay “Sanctus” Love & Grapes Project, Vin de France, Loire Valley, France.
100% Gamay Noir, organic 18 year old vines, on gneiss soils from Benoît Landron of Domaine Landron-Chartier in the Coteaux d’Ancenis in the northern Loire, not far from Muscadet where Fred Niger of Domaine de L’Ecu is and where this unique wine is made as part of Fred’s Love & Grapes line of wines which are all partnership projects from organic growers across Europe with current offerings that include a white from Italy and a Syrah from the Rhone as well as this Gamay. Whole cluster fermented and macerated in amphora, with almost no sulfur, the Santus is one of the most unique (and expensive!) Gamay wines in the world. Utterly thrilling from start to finish, in a recent Cru Beaujolais tasting it completely blew away many famed versions, including Dutraive’s old vine Fleurie, with it’s charm, depth and energy it is clearly a special wine with sex appeal and remarkable character. Starting with pretty floral and mineral tones this dark fruited Gamay eases on to the palate with bright blueberry, morello cherry, tangy plum and dried citrus/red peachiness along with elements I would say come through as chalk/stone and baked tiles as well as an exciting array of spicy/sweet herb notes that includes cinnamon, star anise, roasted garden thyme and delicate pepper. Medium bodied, but with good density of mouth feel and serious impact, this Gamay is not stuff you’d soon forget, okay the price is a shocker, but it’s so cool I’d do it again, and I’d love to see how it ages. Imported by Floraison Selections, these Le Temps des Copains natural amphora aged collaboration wines from Fred Niger at Domaine de L’Ecu are worth searching out, plus L’Ecu’s Muscadet whites are some of the best of the region, plus don’t miss his own clay pot aged Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir offerings which are exceptional too! This Sanctus takes Gamay and Natural Wine to the next level.
($72 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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