Gamay Noir

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Gamay Noir, ancient Burgundian red grape variety solely responsible for the distinctive, evolving and unfairly unfashionable wines of beaujolais. Galet cites 30 different Gamays, many quite unrelated to the Beaujolais archetype, many of them particular clonal selections of it, and many more of them red-fleshed teinturiers once widely used to add colour to vapid blends. Red-fleshed versions can still be found, particularly in Mâconnais and Touraine, and France grew almost 200 ha/500 acres of Gamay Teinturier de Bouze, in 2011. The ‘real’ Gamay is officially known as Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc to draw attention to its noble pale flesh, and is a natural offspring of Pinot and Gouais Blanc (see pinot).