For me, sapidity in a wine like this 2016 Gamma Ray is an attribute that I very much dig. It’s that savoury, electric tang that gets the taste glands working.
Sapidity is akin to sitting in front of a large plate of deep-fried chicken and not being able to tuck into the deep-fried goodness in front of you. It’s slightly sour-edged, walking that knife-edge between sweetness and sourness, sometimes seemingly catching its balance in the process. Wines that show this sapid streak provide great drinking and versatility at the dining table.
The Bobar Gamma Ray comes from Tom and Sally Belford in the Yarra Valley. A blend of Gamay and Cabernet Franc (75 per cent /25 per cent), 100 per cent whole bunch with some carbonic maceration and is bottled with no additions of sulphur.
It’s a buoyant, crunchy little thing. Lightly coloured, earthy and savoury with energy to burn. It’s a wine that I could certainly see bringing a lot of joy as this warmer weather begins to recede.
The aromas and flavours are light and airy; flitting around showing hints of strawberry, watermelon, cherry and soft spice. There are light herbal notes showing themselves also, akin to amaro and earthy/undergrowth/mushroom tones that I associate with autumn.
It is a wine that is not so much about generosity of fruit as it is about precision, with a taut palate showing great tension and savoury nose. Beguiling drinking.
BOBAR 2016 Gamma Ray