2020 Gamay sur Volcan, Les Vins de la Madone, Gilles Bonnefoy, Côtes du Forez

This is the kind of wine that gets pigeon-holed as a summer wine, usually as an alternative to Beaujolais, but it’s absolutely delicious and deserves to be drunk all year, cool in winter, cooler still in summer.

Like Beaujolais, it’s made from Gamay, but in the small Côtes du Forez appellation in the Auvergne to the south west, near to the source of the river Loire. Gilles Bonnefoy, who started La Madone in the late 1990s and converted the estate first to organic and then to biodynamic, vinifies each parcel separately to emphasise the diversity of soils. In the case of this wine, volcanic basalt gives a rocky, peppery, mineral vibrancy to the succulent, smooth, strawberry, plum and blackberry fruit. The tannin is low, the pleasure factor is sky high.

You can hardly go wrong with cured, smoked and cold meats, rillettes and patés, or with roast root and Mediterranean vegetables or pumpkin. It would also be good with tuna steaks and pulled pork. 13%
Joanna Simon in www.joannasimon.com, 16th Sep 2021

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