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Gamaret - Pinot Blanc

Gamaret - Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc, Weißburgunder, Fehér Burgundi, Pinot Branco, Pinot Bianco – many names for the same grape depending on where you find it.

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.

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Pinot Blanc is a mutation of Pinot Gris, itself a mutation of Pinot Noir. On the vine it looks remarkably similar to Chardonnay. It is usually made into dry or sparkling wines but especially in Austria can make some excellent early Trockenbeernauslese. On the nose it can be floral or perfumed with hints of apple and sometimes tropical fruits. The fruit remains on the palate and there is a much longer finish than you might expect from a white wine. Of course the sweeter wines incorporate qualities that you might expect from that style.

I have asked winemakers a few times why they chose "Pinot Blanc" or "Weissburgunder" and whether they were for marketing or cultural reasons. Usually the answer has been "It looked better on the label that way".

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