Evening Land, Celebration Gamay 2007 Eola-Amity Hills


From $16 a bottle.

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I wrote recently in Evening Land – a name to watch about my enthusiasm for this new wine label. It’s an extremely ambitious project based on some famously top quality vineyards in Oregon, Sonoma Coast and a new vineyard being developed in the fashionable Sta Rita Hills region in the Central Coast. Dominique Lafon of Domaine Comte Lafon in Meursault, no less, is involved in advising on winemaking in Oregon, where this succulent Gamay comes from.

Most of the wines produced will be Pinot Noirs, with input for some special cuvees, as I explained in Sommeliers move from table to tank, from some of America’s most famous sommeliers such as Daniel Johnnes and Raj Parr. Wines made from this sought-after grape variety are being priced extremely vigorously, from $60 a bottle, but actually Evening Land, Celebration Gamay 2007 Eola-Amity Hills, which costs only $16 at Smith & Vine of Brooklyn should give almost as much pleasure, at least in the short term.

I’d drink it over the next year or two when its lovely pure, juicy Gamay fruit should shine out. I found it seriously appetising with a nice, dry finish and super-crunchy fruit that reminded me of the tactile pleasure of, say, a Braeburn apple. It’s made from a three-acre plot of true Gamay Noir vines within the celebrated Seven Springs vineyard (pictured) in the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s wine heartland. The vines are 24 years old and, like so many Oregon vines, are ungrafted.

At the moment, winesearcher.com cites only Smith & Vine and Drew Nieporent’s Manhattan wine store Crush as stockists but I am assured that Ten-Acre Wines (www.ten-acre.com) will be importing this Gamay into the UK relatively soon.

Perhaps, in the same way that Australian dry Riesling revived the fortunes of German Riesling in some markets, the same will happen to fine Beaujolais thanks to top quality non-French Gamays like this one (and this previous wine of the week).

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