From the Appellation America entry on Gamay:
Given a more standard red wine fermentation, Gamay can produce more serious wines. The best examples come from ten small ‘Cru’ villages in the Beaujolais hills, particularly those from the commune of Moulin-a-Vent. The wines made here often can age in the medium term, gaining mature Pinot Noir-like qualities.
The Louis Tête Morgon "Les Charmes" 2004 has a powerful red berry aroma that you notice as soon as you open the bottle. Then when you taste it, there's a hint of pepper that you might expect from the land where the Rhône reaches up to Burgundy. Since this wine was not aged at all, I wasn't looking for any Pinot Noir impressions. Instead I was looking for why Beaujolais has been praised as the food-friendliest of wines.
Viewing it in the glass this is clearly Beaujolais, lightly pigmented and almost vermillion in colour. It has strong complexity on the palate and while the finish is balanced, it has such a tart, bracing grip I could see why a blind taster might mistake this for a white wine. Close your eyes and the colour red is gone.
A WINE THAT CHARMS A MEAL, A WINE THAT HARMS A MEAL
Nevertheless this wine intrigued me. Dining on a highly-seasoned salmon filet with basil pasta and blanched broccoli, I imagined myself buying more of this wine. But then I tasted it again on the following evening with virtually the same meal, substituting trout instead of salmon and turnip instead of pasta (lightest of wines and heftiest of root vegetables does not make for a good complement so avoid turnip and Gamay combinations -- you probably don't need to try this to believe me). The trout was delicious but "Les Charmes" had faded into a citrusy and piquant shadow of what it was the previous evening.
Personally, I am not sold on the idea that this style of wine is the perfect food wine. Light-bodied but earthy Loire reds, often touting Cabernet Franc, seem to better fill that role. As for this Beaujolais, drink young and drink now, I guess. Charming ain't a long-term investment, cru du Beaujolais or not. (Speaking of "cru" designations, I didn't realize that even this Duboeuf was a cru.)
"Les Charmes" is among the first Old World reds now appearing on shelves in the 2005 vintage. While the 2004 is still available, if you are in Quebec you might notice them disappearing fast. Michel Phaneuf gave it one the best reviews for a 2004 Beaujolais.
St-Didier, Beaujeu, France. 13%.