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South of Burgundy lies the Maconnais and south of that is Beaujolais and all its (ten)
crus. Here Pinot Noir is supplanted by Gamay. As its easiest Gamay is a fruit compote
of a grape, but amongst the poor quality, broken soils of Morgon, for example, the
wines become more structured and age worthy. Gamay is also one of the most
versatile red grape varieties.
There is a small geographical but a big stylistic divide between wines from northern
and southern Rhone. The former has a cooler microclimate, different soils and
favours the Syrah grape. Syrah thrives in this terroir and makes a unique style, a
touch floral and a lot mineral. The wines of Cote-Rotie, Hermitage and Cornas have a
pure intensity that is difficult to match. In the south Grenache grape comes to the
fore, although it is usually blended with Syrah and a variety of others. Wines from
Grenache tend to have a warm, spicy, jammy quality. They are great with game.