2018 BiNaume (Clarie Naudin/Jean-Yves Bizot) Le Gamay de l’Allie, Vin de France.
The BiNaume label is a small project started by Claire Naudin, of Burgundy’s Domaine Naudin-Ferrand and her husband Jean-Yves Bizot, of Domaine Bizot a highly regarded producer famous for exceptionally limited bottlings of Vosne-Romannee, and was formed after the terrible 2016 frosts in the region destroyed a huge percentage off Naudin’s crop. The Gamay came from the Allier area, when, thanks to her sales agent in Paris, who introduced Naudin to Florent Barichard from Les Terres d’Ocre, a domain located in Saint-Pourçain, part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region near the upper Loire Valley, who was kind enough to share some of his grapes. This collaboration has allowed three vintages now and I was intrigued by the story, which reminded me of the Jura’s Jean-Francois Ganevat’s own difficult harvests that led to him adding grape sources throughout France to make up for the loss of his production, and I acquired a bottle of this 2018 Le Gamay de l’Allie to try, a good decision as it turns out. The BiNaume 2018 Gamay is beautifully pure and stylish with loads of fresh detail making for a wine that will please those that love Cru Beaujolais with dark berry fruit, spice, mineral tones and delicate florals. The palate is crisp and finely structured showing black cherry, strawberry, plum and pomegranate fruits along with a touch of earth, sweet herbs, flinty crushed stones, walnut and a lingering sense of liquid violets on the light to medium bodied palate. I monitored this bottle over two days and it never lost its thrill, it is fun and delightful, gaining a richer texture and graceful length when allowed to full open.
Claire Naudin, located in à Magny lès Villers, who is known for her traditional leanings and more natural approach in the cellar hand-harvests some of Barichard’s Gamay which is set on granite based soils and employs a gentle regiment with some whole bunches and lees aging in neutral cuves beton (cement vats) to promote a soft mouth feel and to retain the Gamay’s brisk acidity. To make this wine more easy and quaffable, Naudin uses almost no additions of SO2 or sulphites during the winemaking process which gives this Gamay is expressive personality. After tasting this lovely Gamay, I am going to explore more of the BiNaume offerings as well as searching out Claire’s Domaine Naudin-Ferrand Burgundies. Interestingly Clair does a collection of wines from Chile under her Rouge Gorge label, giving her an off season bit of work in the Colchagua Valley. It should be noted that Naudin has experience with Gamay at home in the Cote d’Or, which goes into her Omayga Rouge Passetoutgrain, that is a classic blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir. This dark garnet and ruby Gamay went great with more holiday leftovers and is at its best with food, even better with a slight chill that brings out its vividly bright fruit, I thoroughly enjoyed this zesty Gamay and am planing on scoring a few more. Gamay, a once described as evil and maligned for generations, is really gaining traction in the States with an explosion of tasty versions both in California and Oregon, as well as getting some deserved attention in the old world and in New Zealand’s Central Otago, plus Australia, with some outstanding wines coming out of the Yarra Valley.
($35 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive