2019 Bonnefoy (La Madone) Gamays 'Mi Noir Mi Bouze' Urfé IGP
Region: Urfé IGP < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: 50% Gamay Noir (white juice), 50% Gamay de Bouze (red juice)
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Demeter-certified biodynamic farming (since 2009); volcanic rock (basalt) soil; de-stemmed, indigenous yeast co-fermentation in stainless steel tank for 8-10 days with gentle daily punch-downs, then cold-stabilized and bottled unfined, with no added SO2; zero-zero; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Gilles Bonnefoy
The Massif Central, the highlands area of Southern France, used to be a much more important wine producing area until phylloxera struck, as it did everywhere. Replanting has been very gradual, because the region is closed and mountainous, making it more suited to cows -- and cheese production. Oh hey, Fourme d'Ambert! The vines that have been replanted on the mineral-rich volcanic soils are mostly to the Gamay grape, and the viticulture influence comes more from the neighboring Ardèche (Rhône Valley) than the Loire, within which the Urfé technically sits.
Here, most producers farm small plots and sell grapes to the co-op, who pay based on quantity vs. quality. Gilles Bonnefoy is one of a few who farms organically and bottles his own wine. And while his labels could certainly use some work, the juice inside is stellar. Like this 'Gamay's Mi-Noir, Mi-Bouze' a blend of two Gamay varietals, one white-fleshed and the other pink-fleshed, grown on volcanic soils. While it smells like the poppy carbo Gamays of Beaujolais (Red Hot cinnamon candy!) the palate leans more to the southern Rhône, with its deep red/black hue, lush mouthfeel and juicy black raspberry, plum and volcanic rocks. We'll be keeping our mugs full of this grapey Gamay goodness all winter long, especially at this house wine price point!
SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED