What the Geeks are Drinking

Esoteric wine making mainstream moves


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Gamay, and in particular Beaujolais is high on the list of geek wines these days much for the same reasons Savigny; people are looking for value priced alternative to the more traditional Burgundies. The top Beaujolais, and in particular the cur wines have emerged as a new class of collectable wine over the past decade or so, and prices have begun to climb along with the new notoriety.

Gamay is of course not limited to Beaujolais, with fine examples coming format he Loire valley in particular but also from maturing efforts throughout the new world, particularly in California and Oregon. As can happen when a grape becomes hot, there's is a significant effort to make it more 'serious' for lack of a better term. While I get it, and Gamay can certainly be made in a powerful and age worthy style it is most often best suited to being produced in friendly, accessible, and joyful style.  I do fear a bit for this style of Gamay as there are far too few playful red wines in the marketplace and it would be tough to lose this most playful and available of them all, but I doubt that will be Gamay's fate. At it's most playful Gamay is an explosion of light fruit flavors with a loose structure built on acidity, and yet at the other other end of the spectrum gamy planted in the right place is capable of transforming into a terroir driven wine with depth, complexity, power and structure for at least a decade of aging.

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  • My vote would also go to Frappato, specifically the wines of Ariana Occhipinti, but perhaps it is already "passé":) Cheers.

    Aug 20, 2013 at 10:07 AM

  • Snooth User: topherg3
    921880 75

    My current classic underrated region is Roussillon. I just returned from visiting and tasting old vine carignan and unique white varieties and great aged tawney like sweet wines.

    Aug 20, 2013 at 11:45 AM

  • Snooth User: Tintofino
    204897 1

    Nice write up. But another rising "geek" wine that should not be overlooked is dry Sherry, specifically the crisp pale ones served well-chilled, namely Finos and Manzanillas, but also the more oxidized amber colored ones served un-chilled, the Amontillados, Palo Cortados and Olorosos. Sherry Bars are a growing phenomenon in London, and now there's a new one in DC offering 54 Sherries!

    Aug 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

  • We've just returned from the French wine region and Beaune and we were surprised to enjoy the Savigny. Let's keep our eyes open!.... Oh, and my glass could use a refill.

    Aug 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM

  • Snooth User: mugwump718
    1299777 33

    So does this mean that Grenache has jumped the shark?

    Aug 20, 2013 at 7:32 PM

  • So many wines, so little time

    Aug 20, 2013 at 8:57 PM

  • Snooth User: Naglerrj
    1274141 1

    What, no Fermint from Hungary,

    Aug 22, 2013 at 10:17 PM

  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    ...yes.... Savigny finally...

    Aug 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM

  • Snooth User: SM
    1097030 218

    A good list & sampling of some non-mainstream cultivars and regions; some ideas for us wine geeks to pursue.

    Here are a few of my own to add to this list: Furmint from Hungary, a great white varietal and worthy of seeking out; Blaufrankish a.k.a. Lemberger grown across Germany, Austria, Hungary and now even New York.

    It is a medium-bodied red and if you are fond of blackberries, red cherries & red currants this is a wine to check out.

    Here's a challenge for you: seek out Devin, a Slovakian cross between Roter Veltliner and Gewurztraimner; floral and fruity but dry and quite refreshing. I had a Devin and it was a Decanter Silver 2011; excellent and intriguing to say the least.


    Solomon Mengeu

    Aug 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM

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