Olivier Minot 2016 “La Boutanche” Beaujolais Gamay ($18.99/1 liter)
This interesting “natural” wine claims zero additives, including no sulfites. It’s a clear garnet color, reddish purple at the center and clear at the edge. Its intriguing scent is dominated by wild strawberries at first, then opens up to add a hint of Chambord raspberry liqueur. Strawberries and raspberries on the palate add tart red plums and an intriguing earthy minerality that evokes the scent of damp red clay. It’s light- to medium-bodied, but fresh-fruit acidity and soft but perceptible black-tea tannins round it out. Alcohol is not out of line, likely midway in the label’s generic 11-14% claim. Nicely balanced, a good food wine. U.S. importer: Selection Massale, Oakland, Calif. (Dec. 7, 2017)
FOOD MATCH: We enjoyed it with a bowl of lightly spicy, earthy chili beans made with pinto beans from Rancho Gordo. It would be a great match with grilled meats or poultry or spicy, but not overly fiery, Asian dishes.
WHEN TO DRINK: Based on its natural status and zero sulfites, along with the lighter-weight screwcap, I’m going to advise drinking this one up soon, enjoying it while its natural flavors are balanced and inviting.
VALUE: At this price for a liter bottle, there’s nothing to complain about.
Importer Selection Massale tells the story of this offbeat producer here.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Wine-Searcher.com includes a couple of hits for the Olivier Minot in this longer list of French wines named “La Boutanche.”
Here’s a list of U.S. retailers that stock Selection Massale’s portfolio.