One Great Bottle: Brick House 2011 Gamay Noir


[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

I've been thinking a lot about Beaujolais lately, and how much I love it. I truly believe that Cru Beaujolais is one of the best wine values around today—there's a number of tremendous winemakers in those villages making wine from top sites, and it sells (for now) for less than it should.

But all that Beaujolais-drinkin' got me thinkin' about gamay in general, and wondering if there was more to taste domestically. The Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir from Edmunds St. John in California is popular among a certain category of wine geek these days, but I must admit it never really excited me. It's juicy, drinkable wine, but I prefer Edmunds' Bebame Red.

Just when my enthusiasm for domestic gamay was flagging, though, a bottle of Brick House 2011 Gamay Noir ($25) from a 40-acre farm on Ribbon Ridge in Oregon snapped me to attention. This wine pops with acidity, almost like Sour-Patch kids, and it's vivid stuff, full of cranberries and lemon pulp, but with the body to back it up. This is a loud, food-friendly wine, and it gets your juices flowing. It offers a little more heft, a little more punch, than the Bone-Jolly and it's super-fun to drink. It's awesome with pizza topped with spicy salami, but we'd also love to try it with a burger.

Have you had a chance to taste the wines from Brick House? Any other domestic Gamay to recommend?

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks. She lives in San Francisco. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.

Sample provided for review consideration.