Christian Ducroux Exspectatia gamay 2015 is one of those wines that eschews the various Beaujolais AOCs. Perhaps it is because this unique version of the wine doesn't fit with the usual Beaujolais suspects. Perhaps it is just the rebellious nature of the winemakers. Regardless, the results are interesting.
Remember that grape bubble gum that you had as a kid? That is the first thing that sprang to mind when I sniffed this wine. I have been told it was called Hubba Bubba. You might get a hint of cocoa here (I didn't really get this but a friend did). There is minerality with sneaky tannins with duration. I noticed them most on the finish. I expected more fruit on the nose but, of course, I was expecting a more conventional gamay. It mellows only reluctantly with air; it has some tannic backbone. It doesn't seem to want to calm down.
It is something of an unusual version of gamay. There is a unique. light bitterness and the fruit, as noted, is anything but forward. But you do get a definite tart cherry taste.
It is an unusual wine. Its tannins remain even with some air as mentioned. The fruit you usually expect is there but it is more subdued --you have to search for them. The bitterness is mostly on the finish but it is an unusual sort of bitterness. It is a minerality but hard for me to nail that precise mineral ...granite/stone maybe?
This wine is produced from a tiny vineyard of about 10 acres in Regnie, France (the westernmost part of Beaujolais). The winemaker, Ducroux, does everything by hand, or in some cases hooves as two horses are also apparently involved. No sulfur is added to Ducroux's wines. These are organic and biodynamic wines. Regnie is the most recent Beaujolais Cru. Cru is the highest category for wine from the sub-region.
THIS wine is labelled as a "Vin de France," the lowest category of wines in France. You are finding more and more winemakers using this lower end category for a variety of reasons. Usually "Vin de France" meant a cheap table wine but some winemakers create wines that do not meet some arcane rule of the AOC the wine is from. It is reminiscent on a less expensive scale of the Super Tuscans of the late 60s and early 70s (not in TASTE mind you and only in my mind perhaps). Natural winemakers and/or cutting edge winemakers seem to be the most likely to embrace the most "undesirable" of classifications to buck the system.
Fight the power small winemakers, fight the power!
This may not be an easy wine to find but if you are in New York City? Chambers Street Wines seems to have some bottles left at a tempting price.