Posts tagged #gamay

Lilian & Sophie Bauchet "Californie"

californie wine lilian sophie bauchet marissa a ross

Lilian & Sophie Bauchet "Californie"
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais, France
Year: 2013
Price: $24
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop
Importer: Percy Selections

When I saw this bottle on Percy Selections' Instagram a couple months before it was available retail, I knew I had to have it. A small-production Fleurie cuvée from Lilian & Sophie had to be mine. And to be called "Californie" of all things. I almost went back to nail-biting I was so anxious for this wine. Because like the lofty daydreamer that I am, I was already convinced this was my wine. A BEAUJOLAIS CALLED "CALIFORNIE"?! HOW COULD IT NOT BE MINE!!!

I don't recommend this type of thinking to anyone. It's unhealthy, arrogant, and nearly all disappointments in life come from having any expectations at all, let alone the expectation that a wine you haven't tried can somehow represent your entire being. It's fucking stupid, and I know it. And what may be stupider is that, I needed to think that way. 

The last four months have been some of the hardest of my life. If selling the book was hard, finishing the manuscript was like dragging myself through hell with two corkscrews for hands. I isolated myself, working twelve to sixteen hours a day, and had never felt more alone. I had this incredibly huge project on my hands-- a fucking book, being written by a college dropout who never has done a long term project in her life-- plus the big California piece for Bon Appétit and that whole full-time writing job, wedding planning, family emergencies, realizing that many of my friends really aren't. It's been a fucking lot, without any time for anything else. Not even time to write here, which is not only my passion, but also my escape. 

So, yes, I had put a lot of feelings into a bottle of wine. Stupid, for sure. But I needed something to look forward to. I needed to know that after the manuscript was in, I was going to be able to sit down with a wine and love it, and feel loved. To remember why I do what I do, and how all this happened. Because I love wine. 


The "Californie" tastes like one of those idyllic days that slowly transitions into a magical evening, one of those Saturdays that feel like its never going to end but you know it will eventually, so you do your best to drink up every last minute of it so you will remember it forever. It's bright, gluggy and a bit salty, like a long afternoon full of laughing. You know when everyone is laughing so hard but no one even remembers what they're laughing about anymore? And your laugh goes totally silent as the tears pour down your face? That's what it tastes like. Like you're catching your own laughing tears on your lips and washing it down with some cranberry lemonade. But there is a warmth and a softness to it. It's slightly spiced, and it is enticing. It's your lover's sweatered shoulder you could bury your face into until the end of time, under the stars you just now realized were out and shining. 

I love this wine so much because it reminds me of well, love. And I don't necessarily mean "love" like significant other status. "Love" isn't always this heavy serious thing between two people. Often it is just having fun, with people who make you feel good, and remind you that you are alive, and you're all alive together. It's an all-encompassing energy; it's laughing and hugging and dancing and singing and sweating and swearing and eating and drinking and kissing and talking. It's welcoming, it's exciting, and it's comforting, all at once. 

And that energy is what this wine tastes like. Real love, baby. 

marissa a. ross californie ross test

Tasting Notes: Tart, poppy and saline cranberries and red currant, with hints of spiced vanilla and dusty sun-dried bougainvilleas, with a lemonade finish. I drank a whole case of this wine; suffice to say it tastes fucking great. 


Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby

Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby marissa ross

Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Morgon, Beaujolais
Year: 2014
Price: ~ $24

I started writing about this wine for a quick review on Instagram, and lost my shit a little. I hate that I have been able to drink so many beautiful wines I love so much over the last year, and yet I have not had time to legitimately write about them. It's hard because as much as I enjoy writing about wine in general, what I truly love is writing about wines that inspire me. This blog started as writing about every wine I drank, but it became more about writing about wines that made me feel like I needed to write about them.

And while every wine I spend any time on is because I feel like I need to, this wine, this wine made me feel like I was going to die if I didn't actually write about it. Not a fucking Instagram post. Because I'm not here because I was writing fucking Instagram posts. I'm here because there is something to wine that is so much bigger than me, or my silly emotions, allusions or similes. I'm not here because of writing 7 Wines To [Verb] [Pronoun] [Adjective] [Season] or explain Charmat Method in a charming way for my book, which is what I should be doing. I'm here because I cannot not tell someone-- anyone!-- about this wine.

Even if I hadn't started drinking this as the sun started to set, it would have reminded me of "Waterloo Sunset"♫ ... But Ben & Marissa cross over the river where they feel safe and sound. And they don't need no friends, as long as they gaze on Morgon Sunsets, they are in paradise. ♫ 

Not quite what the Kinks said, but the sentiment remains. The Christine et Gilles Paris Morgon Douby tastes like big chewy Sweettarts, ocean foam & young summer love, and feels as relaxed as a lit joint. I want to curl up with this bottle and my favorite records on crisp, green, post-war, suburban grass in a bikini, smelling like Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic. There is an easiness about it that tastes like cranberry-soaked privilege wrapped up in the security of a balmy summer night and your whole life ahead of you. 

It's so fucking youthful and fresh that you wouldn't be able to even appreciate this shit if you were youthful and fresh. It takes the wisdom and complexity that you can taste on the mid and back palate-- that same wisdom and complexity you have as an adult-- to appreciate it. 

Because cannonballing into pools with my sister was always my favorite, and aimless sunset walks down Euclid Ave. with Sager in our cut-offs were always fun, and I always knew urban hiking through Echo Park with Tecates and Ben were the only butterflies I wanted for the rest of my life. And although I knew these memories were always going to be the best, you still don't really comprehend it in the moment. 

This wine tastes like the moment a favorite memory washes over you. 

You have no choice but to be swept away.


Tasting Notes: Smells like Raspberry Banana smoothies made of sparklers. Crisp and tart with cranberry, red currant, a touch of radish and awesome minerality, but is so so smooth. Also has nice tannic structure, which is a thing I just said aloud and hated myself for BUT IS STILL TRUE. 

Ross Test: AMAZING, but I couldn't with good conscience do more that a couple swigs because this is so much better to share. 

Julien Courtois "Ancestral"


Julien Courtois "Ancestral"
Varietals: Côt, Gamay & Gascon
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2012
Price: ~$30
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop

It's interesting when your hobby becomes your job. It is so fun and exciting and gratifying, and it is challenging and exhausting, just like you always knew it would be. And then there is this part where you find yourself uninspired and frustrated, because that thing you used to do to relax and be creative is now your job.

But you have to get back to that thing; that thing that made you laugh when no one was around, that thing that took weight off your shoulders no one else could, that thing you couldn't stop doing if you tried, that thing you did for no one but yourself, that thing that gave you purpose before you knew you had a purpose.

And here we are. I couldn't be more predictable if I tried with a Gamay blend. It's like I've lit a bunch of fancy-ass candles, put on Getz/Gilberto and am leading myself to bed to try to rekindle a dwindling romance...


Julien Courtois' "Ancestral" has me feeling more than satisfied, entirely in love all over again, and convinced that my relationship with wine will last forever.

It's got a mouth on it; acerbic and a little dirty. There's definitely a bite to it, but it is very smooth. Its acidity walks a tight rope of savory tension that leaves you wanting more. This is not a shallow Gamay that you drink before dinner and never think about again. This has a smokey delicious depth to it I want to swim in forever. 

Tasting Notes: Cranberry and black cherry on the nose, with some hints of melted Red Vines. On the palate, there's very tart cranberry and red currant, resting upon a bed of savory smoke. There is this umami-ness to it too, and the mouthfeel is very "freshly laundered white t-shirt." Nicely balanced considering the high acidity. 

Ross Test: Delicious!

Le Sot de l'Ange "Rouge G"

rouge g marissa ross making a murderer

Le Sot de l'Ange "Rouge G"
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2014
Price: $22
Retailer: Silverlake Wine

2016 is here, and it wouldn't look like much has changed aside from the fact that it is finally raining in Los Angeles. I'm still here drinking Gamay and spending too much time analyzing true crime. WHICH IS PRETTY IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO DO IF YOU HAVE WATCHED MAKING A MURDERER.

I probably have only vaguely mentioned it here, but I LOVE TRUE CRIME. YES IN ALL BOLD CAPS. Being a hermit who stays home drinking wine all day, it is easy for me to devour endless podcasts, get lost in Reddit rabbit holes and get stoned and regret Google searching crime scene photos. I watched the entire series of Making A Murderer in 24 hours, and have even started rewatching it because apparently I am a masochist.

I don't want to get into.

But I don't think Steven Avery did it!
I mean sure, if the evidence was found how the prosecution presented it was found then of course, he should be a suspect. But those fucking blood marks in the car look like they were straight-up Q-Tipped from Essie's Tomboy No More nail polish, and if I believe the blood was planted then I have to believe that everything was planted, SO I BELIEVE IT WAS ALL PLANTED AND STEVEN DIDN'T DO IT. 

But like I said, I don't want to get into it. Anyway.

rouge g selection massale

Yesterday I nabbed this bottle I hadn't seen before from my homies at Selection Massale. I trust them like I trust my own blood and bought it without hesitation. Gamay? Loire? Selection Massale? What could go wrong?

I bet that's what Steven Avery thought too. Then eight days later they've got him for murder based on a car key that mysteriously showed up behind some slippers. Now, I'm no detective, but from my experiences with car keys, they are never just hanging out in the open. Car keys are one of the hardest things in the world to find, along with lost arks, mythical lake monsters, and Obama's birth certificate. 

But seriously, I don't want to get into it.

Unlike Steven Avery, nothing went wrong with this wine! I'd even go as far to say that this wine tastes like I just won a 36 million dollar civil case it's so good! 



What we do need to talk about is how much I love this wine. It is an outstanding example of what I love about biodynamic Gamays. Straight-forward, bright and punchy, the Rouge G is the life of the party. Or perhaps more accurately, the party itself. It's energetic and fun most importantly, but there are the other nuances. Shadowy, sensual little corners that aren't surprising but still exciting. Also the tiny residuals at the bottom of the glass look like tiny little glitters! IT IS A PARTY!!!

Tasting Notes: Candied barnyard boysenberry with light plumeria and licorice on the bouquet, like an adult pool in Willy Wonka's factory. Light and mad chuggable with poppy, smooth blackberry and a tart finish. So so good. 

Ross Test: A bit acidic, but very glou-glou by my standards. Do it to it, babes. 

Posted on January 7, 2016 .

Philippe Jambon "Une Tranche Fine"

une tranche fine.jpg

Philippe Jambon "Une Tranche Fine"
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Villié-Morgon, France
Year: 2013
Price: $21.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

If you can't tell by my makeup-less, top-knotted, surly-ass face, I was in desperate need of a gamay today in a way that only a woman immobilized by cramps sent from the depths of hell itself could truly understand. 

ross test une tranche.jpg

Despite still looking like an angry monster, "Une Tranche Fine" was just what the doctor ordered, along with Aleve and a passionate pursuit of high-grade painkillers, despite both of my god damned drug dealers ignoring my cries for help from the feminine product isle. If it wasn't for this wine, I would be crying or dying or both, presumably in the fetal position in bed while the DVD menu of Seinfeld looped for hours on end. 

But fortunately for the both of us, I have gathered the strength to persevere and tell you all about this wine.

Aside from its medicinal purposes, "Une Tranche Fine" is overall an exquisite example of organic French gamay. It tastes like bottled fireworks. Scintillating and skillful, its tart and carbonite fruits straight up explode in your mouth. I could get sexual with this, but I am not going to. But just know I could get sexual with this, and that you could also get sexual with this. It's a sexy wine! 

I feel like this would be a fun third date wine. I've only been on one third date ever and that was six years ago, but had I been drinking such bomb wine six years ago, I definitely would have pulled this out and been like, "Heyyyyyyyy. [wiiiink]" It's very flirty wine; friendly and quick, with light-hearted bitterness. "Une Tranche Fine" will make you smile and tug at the nape of your neck while you try not to fall in love. 

I just don't see how you're not going to bone after drinking this! It's too delicious and fun! It's like a carnival date!

Like a cool carnival, not a Dateline "Whyyy'd my baby get murdered?!" carnival.

Tasting Notes: Vibrant on the bouquet and the palate, with tons of energized cherry, cranberry, and sour rose petals. I need one or ten more bottles STAT. 


Mushy Love Stuff & Jean Foillard Morgon "Côte du Py"


I had planned to do a big post on Fourth of July, the party we threw, and the wines that I served as well as wines that were brought. But all that went out the window on Friday. 

Friday was my sixth anniversary with Ben.
And as Ice Cube would say, it was a good day.

We've been inseparable since 2009, when he met me and was a dick because his friends had told him he would fall in love with me, and he had just moved to LA and gotten out of a relationship and wanted nothing to do with me. No one had ever told me about him though, so when we met, I was bummed because he was cute, but was mostly like, "Whatever, that dude is a dick." Later that night, a guy I didn't know was married with kids was hitting on me. Ben saw it, and said he became oddly protective and jealous, because everyone had told him I was the girl he was going to fall in love with. He awkwardly whisked me away from the married guy to the roof, and we awkwardly looked at the view. We left the roof, awkwardly, but hung out the rest of the night, talking about bands we couldn't believe the other one listened to too and laughing about how horrible my outfit was.

(Seriously, it was the worst outfit of my life: boot-cut suit pants, a raglan sweater, and pumps. It was laundry day, and I was extremely hungover, and I really, really did not give any fucks because at the time, I really, really did not care about dudes [until I was at a party in half a BCBG suit with a hot dude who listened to Olivia Tremor Control].)

Since then, we've been through thick and thin. We've had the most fun, and we've seen each other through some of the hardest times we will probably ever have. If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Ben, you know first hand what a wonderful person he is. It is hard to find someone so funny, quick witted and smart who is also so genuine, selfless and virtuous, with unlimited kindness and loyalty. He is the best friend anyone could ever ask for. I truly could not be who I am today without him. 

Part of me feels like we will always be those silly drunk twenty-three year olds flirting on the streets of Echo Park on a hot Sunday afternoon. And another part of me feels like we have always been who we are now: a team of love, friendship and support working towards personal and shared dreams, rampant happiness and a deeply fulfilling future. 

And eating and drinking very well while we're at it. 
Because we fucking love that shit!
It's important to get with people with similar interests!

The night of our engagement, Ben had reservations at A.O.C., one of the best spots for wine and food in Los Angeles. I hadn't been since they moved locations, and was really excited to be going back. I immediately wanted a Morgon.

Morgon is a cru of Beaujolais, which you probably have realized is one of my favorite wine regions. Morgons are like most Beaujolais wines in that they have lighter, tarter features but they are aged longer, creating more Burgundy qualities. 

They only had one Morgon on the menu, and I was delighted to see it was a Jean Foillard "Côte du Py". First of all, Foillard is one of the premier French winemakers and one of the organic wine community's greatest crusaders. Secondly, Côte du Py is basically like, the Mount Olympus of Morgon. It's only a hillside, but it produces Morgon's best wines that, as far as I am concerned, are actually made by gods. I mean, they sure as hell taste like it! 

And then to top it all off, it's imported by Kermit Lynch.

IMPORTANT: Anything imported by Kermit Lynch is gold.

The Foillard "Côte du Py" is to die for. Its texture is straight silk, and its palate plump with plum and gritty cherries. Earthy and fuller bodied, this wine tastes like my youthful, fun, everyday-drinking gamay grew up and got engaged.

Quite fitting to say the least. 

Definitely check out this wine, especially with eating. It has a bit more meat on it so it feels more like a dinner wine. And it's extremely food friendly. We had five courses ranging from cheese & charcuterie to pappardelle to Spanish fried chicken, and it worked flawlessly with each dish.

Speaking of Spanish fried chicken, definitely have it at A.O.C. and get lost in their incredible wine list. So many natural and organic gems to explore!

Leliévre Gris de Toul Millésime 2013

Leliévre Gris de Toul Millésime
Price: $18.99
Region: Lorraine, France
Year: 2013
Retailer: DomaineLA

Today felt like summer when I got home from work. The house was warm despite the AC, and the sun was low and bright despite being nearly six. I peeled off my jeans and went braless. I was listening to some new songs I was really excited about, and you have to know that every great summer has great accompaniment. 

I'm elated right now.

And maybe it's the weed I smoked when I got home, something I never do. Or the new vibrator I bought myself for my birthday next week, something I haven't done in probably ten years.

But I'm pretty sure it's being braless with a beautiful rosé and knowing that even though it's only March, I can feel this summer starting to squeeze softly on my soul. I couldn't say it any better today than I did in this Tumblr post from 2008:

Yesterday I felt it. I drove across that barren, reptilian highway, following the green signs to the promise land: Los Angeles. My skin was warm where the sun shined in through the windows & the the AC was just right. Right then, I felt it. That was how summer felt. Sunroof open, music blaring; I could almost hear my friends laughing in the backseat, singing wholeheartedly in their day-drunk to Jens Lekman, The Strokes & my infamous summer mixes of two thousand & six after a day of Captain Morgan & Coke where the western sun sets over the waves. I can never remember working in the summer or any domestic disputes. I know they were there but all faded away into the sunshine. The same desolate highways become stunning & promising trajectories toward some destination. It doesn’t matter where— the shoreline, the city, the middle of nowhere— they were all an unforeseeable adventure & an unorthodox paradise waiting to infuse my mind full of memories yet to be discovered & eternalized. 


The cynical side of me wants to laugh at that dreamy, idealistic child but I'm still that dreamy, idealistic child. Maybe more so than ever. 

And this rosé tastes just like that, an idyllic dream of Richard Linklater scenes where we're all falling in love and the scenery is practically a painting dripping all over us.

This Rosé is 90% Gamay, which probably explains a lot of the hearts in my eyes, but I want to drink this every warm day for the rest of the year. I want to be sunbathing with dozens of strawed bottles of this all around my lawn chair so that anywhere I put my face, I have at least three glasses at my disposal. I want to drink this all of summer 2015, and I want to take it back with me to every other perfect summer I've ever had. Because that's what it tastes like, a perfect summer. 

Salty like the ocean and floral like the tiny star jasmine hedges I would run past every night at dusk in my neighbor's year. A little chlorine-y, but it's the minerality, and I just have this weird affinity for chlorine. I'm weak in the knees. My thoughts go directly to hot concrete, first kisses, the sound of badminton in the backyard, and Sex Wax.

I've never loved a Rosé like this. I may have thought I did, but nope. Definitely not. Definitely have never wanted a Rosé in my mouth night after night after night like this. I'm not even finished with the first bottle, and I'm fantasizing about the next.

I don't even know what else to say. I wish I could write a song about this shit. I'm a fool for Leliévre Gris de Toul Millésime. A GOD DAMNED FOOL.

Tasting Notes: Alright, aside from what I already told you with its salt and floral and minerality, it reminds me of a jar of pepperoncinis. For the record, pepperoncinis are one of my favorite things in the world. I eat jars of them just alone while chilling in front of my fridge. It has to do with the high acidity, but it's super balanced. I would never tell you a wine tasted like pepperoncinis unless it was fucking delicious so just roll with me. It's so well-balanced, that this is a tangy treat. Ugh, someone please send me a million bottles?

Ross Test: The acidity gets to be a little questionable out of the bottle, but I think it would be very refreshing midday when it's really fucking hot.

Posted on March 13, 2015 .

Vincent Caillé 'La Part Du Colibri' Gamay


Vincent Caillé 'La Part du Colibri' Gamay
Price: $11.99
Region: Loire Valley, France
Year: 2013
Retailer: DomaineLA 

Ah, my affair with Gamays continue. I just can't quit these fuckers. 

I love this Gamay because it's meeting in the middle between the girl I was and the woman I've become. It's a fancy French wine, but on a budget. I remember the first time I bought $12 wine. I won't name names, but I remember not being that impressed with it in comparison to the $3 - $6 I was drinking.

Well, this is a huge difference. There is such a huge difference between a large producers $12 and small producers $12. It's like comparing Kraft cheese to Tillamook.

Tillamook is still a larger producer.
But their Sharp Cheddar is BOMB AS HELL, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
(Plus it's still in the relative price range, ya dig? Can't be telling you to give up shredded bags for Hooks ten year aged, now can I?)

The fucking point is, this wine is delicious and a steal. It's lively and lovely and will please both eccentric red wine lovers and light red wine lovers alike. 

I have to go because it's Friday and my friends are here and I've been working all week on a sample chapter for my book that I finished last night-- yes, my book you read that correctly, very exciting stuff, sorry that's why I haven't been around, thank you to everyone who has been a supporter + fuck you to the commenter who said I talked like I was twelve last week, seriously suck my dick-- SO. THIS IS MY TIME TO CHILL. WHICH YOU ALL KNOW I VALUE AND RELISH IN. 


Which is true.
You're never getting your bedroom back.
It's mine now.
Your dad and I and Vincent Caillé Gamay are all best friends now.
100% not sorry. xoxoox


Tasting Notes: Gorgeous garnet color, like seriously? Someone get me some earrings made of this shit. The bouquet is super fresh, like wet lemongrass and rosemary tanning in the summer sun. The palate is bright, with lots of blackberries and lavender. I kinda want a candle of this. But it does not taste like a candle. Except maybe it does cause I own some expensive ass candles I'd definitely be down to drink.

Ross Test: Very good. A little acidic on the back end, but still, very good. 


Un Saumon Dans la Loire 'La Boutanche' Gamay


La Boutanche Gamay
Price: $18
Region: France
Retailer: DomaineLA

I can't even count how many bottles of this I've gone through in the last couple weeks. It is my new go-to wine, because not only am I obsessed with Gamays, but IT COMES IN A LITER.

Tangy, airy, plush. A god damn lovely wine.

It also maintains itself incredibly well. I left a bottle open on Friday, corked it Saturday and drank it Sunday and it tasted nearly as good if not AS GOOD as it did when I opened it. Such a feat!

Posted on November 2, 2014 .