Gamaret shares many traits with its distant relative Pinot Noir, but has few of its frailties. It ripens early, gives high yields and is resistant to most fungal diseases. Gamaret wines typically have moderate tannins, a robust acid structure and an aroma profile of blackberries and sweet spice.
With its good complement of both acids and tannins, Gamaret can produce wines of excellent structure. Its aromatics tend towards the darker, more brooding end of the fruit spectrum, peppered with hints of savoury spice. The variety is often blended with its sibling, Garanoir, to balance these darker, more serious notes out with Gamaret's lighter, fruitier character.
Gamaret was born in 1970 at the Caudoz research centre in Pully near Lausanne in Switzerland and originally named Pully B-13 before Gamaret was chosen. Gamaret was developed mostly for cultivation in French Switzerland, and is a full sibling of Garanoir which was intended more for the German part of the country.
Gamaret was released in 1990 and has since conquered half of Switzerland. It has also appeared in France and Belgium, and might be planted in the UK soon.
With its somewhat low yield, the variety is considered difficult in the vineyard and was not always appreciated. It needs good sites with deep soils. It is sensitive during the flowering period and sensitive to late frost. It brings inconsistent yields.
Like many other grape varieties, the facts behind its origins are not easily confirmed. One theory suggests that cuttings were offered by a grape collector called Saint-Laurent du Var while another that it comes from Alsace, where it was known as Schwarzer. Although it shares its name with a number of French villages, there is nothing to suggest that they had anything to do with the naming of this grape. Most likely is the idea mentioned above that it was named after the patron saint of chefs, whose patronal festival coincides with the traditional day on which the berries change colour. It is one of the first grapes planted at the monastery of Klosterneuburg in their experimental vineyard in 1863.
If you are a fan of Zweigelt, remember that in 1922 Fritz Zweigelt combined the Sankt Laurent grape with Blaüfrankisch to create Zweigelt. It is a very good parent indeed.
It is not however closely related to Pinot. Sankt Laurent is not the same as Pinot Saint-Laurent. Although Sankt Laurent is not Pinot Noir, any more than Carménère is Merlot, there are some similarities to be found. If you like a meatier, gamier Pinot Noir, try this – you will not be disappointed!
ophisticated wine with a lingering finish that continues to delight for ages. It pairs well with most food, especially meats and as many commentators advise, those foods which you shouldn’t really eat like barbeques, cheese and anything fatty.
It was the first time I have ordered from Alpine Wines and I just wanted to say that I found the unexpected follow-up call a very nice touch. I am also pleased to report that it was the winning wine for our Austrian evening at our very informal wine club!