Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Lieu Dit Gamay 2016, Santa Maria Valley

Gamay is such an easy grape to like. It produces a light red wine wine that is versatile, accessible, and friendly. Aromas can range from raspberry, cherry and cranberry to mushrooms, violets, forest floor and smoke. It produces a wine that is high in acid but low in tannin. Gamay can be enjoyed with a wide range of cuisines. And Gamay is a wine that can be slightly chilled before drinking. So what is there not to like about Gamay? That is why the Lieu Dit Gamay 2016, Santa Maria Valley is the Please The Palate Wine of the Week.

Lieu Dit is a partnership of longtime friends Eric Railsback and Justin Willett. Traveling together to France where they shared many bottles was the impetus to create Lieu Dit. Sourcing fruit from Santa Barbara County, they focus on varieties that are indigenous to the Loire Valley.

Lieu Dit 2016 Gamay is made with native yeasts and open top fermenters. The wine is aged in neutral oak barrels. It is a translucent brick red color with notes of earth, raspberries, cranberries, violets and gun powder. On the palate, the wine is light bodied with savory notes. The tannins are soft and the wine lingers in the mid and back palate while being lifted by bright acidity.

I love how the wine is clean and structured with an earthy, meaty quality on the finish. It is a wine that makes me crave food and I would pair this wine with grilled lamp chops or grilled salmon.

The Lieu Dit Gamay 2016, Santa Maria Valley is available directly from the winery for $30 (regularly $40).