Bongiraud Obecanje Gamay a Petits Grains 2011
Obecanje means promise in Serbian. With 3-hectares of vines, this émigré Gamay has become Francuska Vinarija's emblematic red. It's made from an ancient cultivar of Gamay called 'manchot à petits grains', which is related to, but not the same as, the cultivars and clones of Gamay that cover most of Beaujolais today. This small berry, thinner skinned version of Gamay is believed to have arrived from France during the Phylloxera era, as French vignerons sought solace in Serbia's sandy and chalky soils that were resisting the nasty aphid's advance. The fruit of manchot à petits grains (à petits grains = of the small berries) yields about half the amount of juice as a regular Gamay, so in more ways than one, it can be considered the Pinot Fin of Gamay. We know of at least one tiny pocket of Gamay à petits grains that still survives in Beaujolais (not far from Vissoux) although there are probably more.
Drawn from a low yielding 50-year-old vineyard, here's proof that Gamay can thrive equally in limestone as it does is granite. It's a sensual, textured, thirst quenching wine with plenty of floral tinged red and blackberry fruit as well as some sappy, vibrant freshness and some bloody complexity. It has the fine structure of a cru Beaujolais while the semi-carbonic vinification (100% whole bunch and three weeks on skins and stems) adds another layer of perfume, spice and complexity. Then 12 months in tank. No added anything, bar a very small amount of sulphur. Hyper-pure, delicious and just so drinkable, it's another unique triumph. It's also worth a decant as the wine takes on added flesh with air. A Serbian vin gouleyant!
Note on the previous vintage 2010. "This is made from an old clone of Gamay called Monchaud Petits Grains. It's supple and spicy with cherries and plums. Very pure and mineral with a nice savouriness. Such a lovely wine. 93/100 points, Jamie Goode, wineanorak.co.uk
In a mixed or straight case: $44.64