Malivoire Gamay 2014. By Jethro Kang.
What is it? Gamay is a grape that’s easy to hate. It’s dismissed for its bubblegum flavour when made in the style of Beaujolais nouveau, overshadowed by pinot noir in its hometown of Burgundy and mostly ignored in the New World for more market-worthy grapes. But these stereotypes are letting the grape thrive in unexpected places such as Canada. While the country has long been associated with ice wine, Malivoire is trying something different, growing typically Burgundian grapes like chardonnay, pinot noir and yes, gamay, and vinifying them into something with gravity.
How is it made? Like most winemaking countries, Canada has its own appellations, and this comes from Niagara, a place more famous for its waterfalls. But grapes grow there, like this gamay, which is fermented and aged mostly in stainless steel tanks, with the rest chilling in oak barrels for six months. It’s bottled at 12 per cent abv.
How does it taste? If you ever need a red to drink with fish, this is it. Jaunty and vibrant, there’s strawberry, sour cherry and cinnamon on the nose, with a light body, tart acidity and spicy finish. Would also work with a roast chicken or other light meats, or even with the plethora of dishes at most Chinese dinners. Kill a bottle alone, and you’re done – with no worries the next day.