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Villa Ponciago Fleurie La Reserve 2011

Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    Bright brilliant color, reflecting garnet and violet nuances. The nose is fine and elegant, developing pronounced notes of cherry and blueberry. Violets and peonies complete this complex nose, giving it great distinction. On the palate, the wine is expressive, with a freshness that highlights its balance, structure and aromatic richness. It evokes mineral tones balanced by a pleasing ripeness. This combination gives the concentration and density specific to great wines, but with the great finesse and elegance of Fleurie. The finish is enhanced by delicate spicy touches, with remarkable length.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Villa Ponciago

    Villa Ponciago

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    Villa Ponciago, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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    Villa Ponciago is a centuries old domain with an ancient history; the first traces and its Latin name date back to AD 949. In 2008 the Henriot family purchased the domain in Fleurie, together with 48 hectares of prime vineyards. The terroirs of the estate are unique, with a total of 214 historically demarcated parcels that were previously classified as Premiers Crus and Premiere Classe. The crystalline granite in the soil gives the wines a complex minerality and elegance pushing the boundaries of preconceived notions of Cru Beaujolais.

    Today, with their expertise in other great terroirs, the Henriot family has unveiled the domain to reveal the historic qualities which had formerly given it a reputation of excellence for the Fleurie Cru. The strength of the terroirs, the quest for quality, the expertise of the winemaking team, small yields – less than 50 hectolitres per hectare as in the 19th century, are once again producing exceptional Fleurie wines.

    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.

    SOU346896_2011 Item# 130053