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Saturday 2 April 2011


I recently had the great pleasure of attending a Gamay 'tweetup' organised by David & Wendy Lloyd of the Mornington Pensinsula's Eldridge Estate.

David has 6 rows of Gamay on his estate, and indeed this represents a fair whack of the circa 20 tonnes of Gamay produced in Australia.  In 2010, David experimented with a couple of styles of Gamay, and the purpose of the tweetup was to garner some opinion on preference of the styles he had created.

First up, we were treated to David's 2008 and 2009 Gamay; the former funky, incredibly smooth, slurpable with a background hit of the red berry fruits familiar to many, the latter again some inviting funk on the nose but stalky, sappy notes driving through the palate - a touch firmer than the 2008 with some good spice coming through the tail. 

2010 Whole Berry Gamay
Made, as the sub-title indicates, with 100% whole berry - so no stem action at all. Maceration Carbonique - where fermentation is allowed to commence primarily inside the berry - is a hallmark of Gamay/ Beaujolais production.  This example exhibited that berry fruit on the nose, with incredible balance in the palate - incredibly smooth again, eminently drinkable. 

2010 75% Whole Bunch Gamay
Sees 75% whole bunch action - who would have guessed - stalks, stems everything.  Sappy, funky aromas; balance, texture and interest through the palate and onto spice at the back end.   

2010 50/50% Gamay and Pinot Noir
A blend and resulting wine of its constituent parts.  For me it was neither a Pinot or a Gamay and whilst it was easily consumed I felt it was neither here, nor there.  For Gamay, the whole berry and whole bunch were far more interesting; for a Pinot there are many other varieties on the Mornington to enjoy - just my opinion. 

There were some interesting thoughts/ tweets on the night.  Not least the incisive thought of Jeremy Pringle who commented, I hope he doesn't mind we quoting: "Happy to see lots of feedback for @ at  Still hope DL makes the wine he thinks is best."; host Alan Hunter - certified Sommelier at e'cco - who commented that for him the whole bunch didn't speak of the Mornington, nor of the variety.  I'm inclined to concur.

That said, I did prefer the whole bunch - I found the stalkier, weightier nose and palate more interesting.  However, if intending to drink Gamay, I'm not sure I would expect this; the whole berry Gamay was more evocative of the variety.  Just my thoughts - well it is my blog. 

Final Word
I cannot thank David enough for inviting me to participate in this opportunity; likewise thanks to hosts Alan Hunter and Annetta Grant of e'cco; and finally fellow Brisbane attendees Peter Scudamore-Smith MW and Rebecca Hope for sharing the experience (and charcuterie plate ;).


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