While in the Loire, Sauvignon Blanc tends to take ‘top billing’, our Gamay is especially close to our hearts. Levin Wines produces four expressions of Gamay: our ‘village’ wine Le Vin de Levin Gamay, two ‘flagship’ wines, Levin Rosé and Levin Gamay and our ‘premium cuvée’ Madame L Gamay.
While each wine is made slightly differently, they’re all worlds’ apart from the 1980s Beaujolais Nouveau party!
As Jancis Robinson notes, “Gamay is a member of the vast family of Burgundian grapes spawned by Pinot Noir and obscure white grape variety Gouais Blanc, doubtless centuries ago…the Gamay vine itself is notably precocious, budding and ripening early, so it can flourish in relatively cool regions such as Anjou-Saumur and Touraine in the Loire Valley.” (JancisRobinson.com, ‘Gamay’)
Gamay is one of a number red grapes in the Loire, as well as Cabernet Franc and Côt (a local clone of Malbec). In our cool climate, the early ripening, vigorous Gamay is handled with hand picking, leaf plucking, green harvesting and organic principles in the vineyard. And so, our Gamay bursts with characters of bright redcurrant, sour cherry, natural acidity, deep florals of lilac, lavender and violets and cut stone.
Throughout our different expressions, we strive to make wines that pair wonderfully with food: intense, perfumed, supple wines with defined tannins and a spine of acidity to carry across a range of cuisines.
Sourced from our vineyard garden in The Loire, our Gamay was produced using modern winemaking techniques and organic viticultural practices. The wine is as stylish, lively and luscious as its presentation promises: delicate lavender and violets, blackberry and cherry compote and earthy truffle invite you to the glass.
Our most forward-drinking Gamay style, designed for casual dining with an array of flavours, including charcuterie, Spanish tapas, Japanese Yakatori or the richly spiced characters of Szechuan Chinese cuisine.
“Certification Agriculture Biologique” (Certified Organic). Clear and bright with a vivid cherry pink colour. A lifted nose with fragrant strawberry and cool cherry notes, red currants and cranberries, with hints of spice. The palate is seductive and medium bodied, the fragrant strawberry and red berry flavours are pushed forward by the underlying crunchy red apple and cranberry fruit flavours. A subtle mineral edge and clean crisp acidity which refreshes the palate.
A very complex Rosé that complements smoked or seared salmon, tuna or duck and delicately cooked rare lamb. Good, too, with white-rind cheeses, tomato-based fish or seafood stew; seafood curry laska, marinated pork, roast veal or chicken (particularly with peppers or spices, tarragon or saffron), and matches with strawberry or raspberry desserts, particularly summer pudding.
“Certification Agriculture Biologique” (Certified Organic). Clear and bright and deep ruby red, the nose shows aromas of lavender and violet, cherry and chocolate, with some savoury forest characters and smoky charcuterie notes. The palate shows cherry and red berry flavours, butterscotch and spicy savoury flavours, hint of white pepper, and earthy truffle notes, with a silky texture and excellent length.
Works very well with tapas and mezze plates, containing grilled vegetables and charcuterie, hearty soups, rillettes or chicken liver pate, terrine with cornichon; duck salad, eel or smoked fish salad with eggs, grilled or b-b-q oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel) or salted or soused fish, like herrings; particularly soft rind or slightly salty firmer cheese balance with the acidity and grilled or b-b-q meats, particularly duck with five-spice or juicy, chargrilled steak.
2011 MADAME L. Gamay
“Certification Agriculture Biologique” (Certified Organic). Made only in exceptional vintages, Madame L is a complex expression of 44 and 36-year-old Gamay vines, farmed with organic, sustainable vineyard practices, using traditional artisan winemaking (including foot treading by Madame L, herself! See below). Intense lifted aromas of rose petals, violets and cherry, with mocha and spice. The palate is complex and savoury with flavours of cherry, plums and charcuterie notes, hints of spice, nougat and liquorice. The texture is silky, juicy and supple, with sprightly acidity, finely balanced tannins and a seductively long mineral finish.
Matches with Gamay dishes as above, but the richly spices and earthy, truffle notes suit roasted duck, Jamón ibérico, smoked eel, truffled dishes, ham hock terrine, smoked mackerel, Stilton or Roquefort cheeses and chargrilled and roasted meats; spicy, particularly Szechuan Chinese dishes and Southeast Asian curries.