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Domaine Michel Tete Saint Amour Les Capitans 2015

Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
  • RP90
13% ABV
  • WE93
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Floral and fruity, aromas of strawberry, peach, violet and spicy cinnamon.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Saint Amour les Capitans offers bold blueberry and blackcurrant pastille aromas, quite vivacious as Saint-Amour ought to be. The palate is ripe and raisiny on the entry, armed with fine, gently grippy tannin and a dash of white pepper that perks up the finish. This is a delicious, quintessential Saint-Amour.
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Domaine Michel Tete

Domaine Michel Tete

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Domaine Michel Tete, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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Domaine du Clos du Fief is run by Michel Tete, with his son Sylvain working alongside. This is a rare 4th generation Cru estate in Julienas and Julie, based at the far Northwest sector of Beaujolais. The history of these great villages dates back more than 2,000 years and trace their names to Julius Caesar. Vines were grown on the high altitude hillsides of Julienas and Jullie (a granite rich Beaujolais-Villages Cru that mimics its more famous neighbor) in the Gallo-Roman period.

Michel took over this history-rich land after studying in Beaune, where he learned many techniques that he now uses on his own wines to great acclaim. Michel harkens his wines back to the classics: low yields, meticulously farmed vineyards, and classic winemaking resulting in serious and mouthwatering examples of terroir driven reds.

Beaujolais

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The bucolic region often identified as the southern part of Burgundy, Beaujolais actually doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the rest of the region in terms of climate, soil types and grape varieties. Beaujolais achieves its own identity with variations on style of one grape, Gamay.

Gamay was actually grown throughout all of Burgundy until 1395 when the Duke of Burgundy banished it south, making room for Pinot noir to inhabit all of the “superior” hillsides of Burgundy proper. This was good news for Gamay as it produces a much better wine in the granitic soils of Beaujolais, compared with the limestone escarpments of the Côte d’Or.

Four styles of Beaujolais exist though most is sold under the basic Beaujolais appellation. The simplest, and one that has regrettably given the region a subpar reputation, is Beaujolais Nouveau. This is the wine that is made using carbonic maceration (a quick fermentation that results in sweet aromas) and is released on the third Thursday of November in the same year as harvest. It's meant to drink young and is flirty, fruity and fun. The rest of Beaujolais is where the serious wines are found. Beaujolais-Villages, which must come from the hilly northern part of the region, offer reasonable values with some gems among them. The superior section are the cru vineyards coming from ten distinct communes: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. Any cru Beajolais will have its commune name prominent on the label.

Delightfully playful yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-flavored wines in Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. It has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau, a young beverage more reminiscent of fruit punch than wine. But make no mistake—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing light yet serious wines, especially in the cru villages of Beaujolais. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.

In the Glass

Gamay can be decidedly light and fruity with flavors cherry candy and cranberry. Made for Beaujolais Nouveau, with a quick fermentation process, the wines give fun and flirty aromas of banana or bubblegum. The Nouveau style is to drink early and not contemplate. More complex Gamays (Village or cru level) offer dark blackberry or ripe cherry flavors with enticing aromas of baking spice, violets and dark wet earth as well as aging potential.

Perfect Pairings

Gamay is delicious on its own, especially with a light chill. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pate, and terrines. Served at a cool temperature, it is an unexpected but outstanding partner for freshly shucked oysters. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with Asian food, even dishes with a bit of a spicy kick. Gamay can also be a great pairing with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.

Sommelier Secret

Within Beaujolais, there are ten different crus, or highly ranked grape-growing communes. Each one has its own distinct personality—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant, and Morgon is serious, structured, and age-worthy, capable of rivaling some red Burgundies.

SRKFTT_031_2015 Item# 295074