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2006 Fleurie "Les Garants," Domaine du Vissoux, Pierre Chermette

SKU #1036195

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From similarly middle-aged vines on decomposed granite, Chermette’s 2006 Fleurie Les Garants – grown at the highest elevation in its appellation, but classified as Moulin-a-Vent until 1927 – typically possesses a quite distinctive, more tannic personality vis a vis the Poncie. Cassis, plum, and peach tinged with bitter fruit pit and tactile cinnamon spice notes stain the palate, and fascinating saline, stony, yet savory minerality inform a gripping, mouth-watering finish..." (08/08) grown up among the vines of Domaine de Vissoux, in the Saint Vérand region of France, Pierre-Marie Chermette has endeavored to continue his family's tradition, expanding and improving upon it with the help of his wife, Martine. Among the first in the region to use sustainable agricultural practice, the wines of Domaine de Vissoux are fermented using native yeasts and bottled with minimal filtration. This wine comes from the "Les Garants" plot of Gamay in Fleurie, a recently acquired site boasting 30-year-old vines planted on southwest-facing pink granite slopes. Garnet red in color with tinges of violet at the rim, this wine is incredibly aromatic, like a bouquet of roses with hints of spice. On the palate, the wine bursts with ripe red and black berry flavors marked by delicate tannins. Drink now or cellar between 5-10 years.

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Price: $21.99
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- Ah, poor, oft-maligned Gamay. Once widely planted in Burgundy, today the grape is largely confined to Beaujolais. The varietal, officially called Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc is vigorous, early-ripening and can grow in cooler climates. The grapes naturally high acidity, low tannins and low potential alcohol lends itself to exuberant, fruity wines, ranging from the early-release Beaujolais Nouveau, to the more serious Cru Beaujolais from villages like Brouilly, Moulin-à-Vent and St-Amour that are steadily gaining in popularity (and can age remarkably well). Outside of Beaujolais, Gamay is also grown in small amounts around the Loire where it is called Anjou Gamay and Gamay de Touraine. It is also grown in Burgundy's Côte Chalonnaise where it is blended with Pinot Noir, as it is in Switzerland.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- Region in east central France, often considered a part of Burgundy, but really quite distinct. The principal grape grown here is Gamay Noir. Familiar to many as the source of the Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the vintage, Beaujolais is often fresh, fruity and very appealing red wine. Besides the straight Beaujolais, there is also Beaujolais Villages, and what is known as Cru Beaujolais. The 10 individual Crus, such as Moulin à Vent, Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, St. Amour and Chénas, each have their own character, and much more depth than someone who has only tried a simple Beaujolais could ever guess. These often represent value-priced, lovely, food-friendly wines.