I picked this wine up on purpose–of COURSE I did, we all pick up EVERY wine on purpose, DUH–not only for one of my favorite varieties, but obviously the appellation. Gamay from Paso??? I mean… Pinot From Paso is the world’s smallest book, but Gamay??? If there ever was a variety NOT popping to mind immediately–or even many MANY pages into the conversation–it’s Gamay. But Paso scribes insist HMR is a lovely place for cool-climate grapes and who am I to protest. This is a SERIOUSLY old-skool vineyard in Paso, and I’ve had the Pinot from there… it’s um… *OK*… just not really what I am looking for in a Pinot–even from California. So how does the Gamay do?
Pretty much EXACTLY what you would expect if you input “Gamay” and “Paso Robles” into your mind’s data-bank. Are you picturing it now? Yes, of course you are. It’s ripe and dense. Viscous. Black cherry. A bit of flabby burn. Round and rubenesque despite the natural thin fruit this variety exhibits. So it’s a bit of a juxtaposition, something I love in wines–and this one’s not hurting my feelings too much. Last night’s Gamay was a big chunky specimen, and this one is a fitting Chapter 2. I’m glad I didn’t have a screeching rendition yesterday, because this one would be like night & day. Still, there’s a lot to be desired in this wine.
A little bit of funk and cellar-floor in the nose, fruit a bit oxidized. Garnet at the core with considerable amber at the edge. Green and peppery in the nose, with not much fruit, save a limp cherry spirit. In the mouth, it’s actually a pretty decent wine–I’m just trying NOT to think of it as gamay. Valdiguie, maybe. Counoise, perhaps. Cinsault? But if you ignore the label, it is good wine. Not sure the Paso tourist will buy it, but if they can get past their unfamiliarity with the grape (something that ilk finds almost IMPOSSIBLE to do), they might like it.
Raspy and fulfilling in the finish, that’s my favorite part. The fruit is thinning–would have loved to taste this on release–and it is just a plain old nice wine, Easy to drink, enough texture to please me, enough nuance to stimulate mildly… just boring and bland.
2014 ADELAIDA Gamay Noir HMR Vineyard Adelaida District Paso Robles 12.9