La Pirolette Saint-Amour 2020

Dme. de la Pirolette Saint-Amour 2020

Price: $27.95
Channel: LCBO Vintages

Producer: Domaine de la Pirolette
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Appellation: Saint-Amour

Grapes: Gamay
Alcohol by Volume: 14%
Sugar Content: 3 grams per litre

Currently the website for the Domaine de la Pirolette describes its location in the village of Saint-Amour as ‘South Burgundy’, but it is a good thing that in the late 14th to mid 15th centuries it was not part of that duchy. Had it been, then the grandfather and grandson team of Phillip the Bold and Phillip the Good, Dukes of Burgundy, would have ordered the vines of Gamay in that part of Beaujolais ripped up and replaced with Pinot Noir*.

That the house of Pirolette identifies with Burgundy and not Beaujolais may be simply a question of marketing communications, but I suspect it has also to do with ambition. It’s a badly kept trade secret that the wines of Beaujolais, by which I mean Gamay, are still an incredible value as their general deliciousness and refinement escalates vintage by vintage. This wine is proof in the glass.

Black fruit dominates on top of silky tannin. This is a roast beef, or mushroom, wine; it’s serious. Round and mouth filling, but also mouth watering with Gamay acidity. It’s very good and will impress guests at the table who haven’t yet got the message about the truly new Beaujolais.

Vive la différence.

PS. I am sure it’s not a coincidence that we only see the occasional bottle of Saint-Amour in Vintages around Valentines Day… thank you LCBO marketing boffins for your clever stratagem.

*Almost everything I know about the 15th century French wine scene comes from Rod Phillips‘ excellent French Wine: A History (2016, University of California Press).