Going for Gamay 

With Labor Day behind us, and the weather finally turning a bit cooler, it's time to put away the summer whites. But it's not yet time to break out those big, bold cabernets or syrahs. Baby steps. Gamay noir, the red wine grape of France's Beaujolais appellation, bridges the seasons beautifully. These are fruit-driven wines that tend to be light on tannins and delicious year round:

2010 Domaine du Pre Baron Gamay, $15.99

From the Touraine region of France's Loire Valley, this is a floral wine with dusty rose petal and a fruit salad mix of cherry, blueberry and strawberry. There's a pleasant saline note to the palate that's otherwise dominated by bright red berry flavors. Touches of anise, black pepper and herb come through on the long finish, along with a hit of food friendly acidity.

2009 Domaine Robert Perroud Brouilly, $15.99

Brouilly is one of 10 classified cru or growths in Beaujolais, those crus being the top classification for the appellation. Wines from Brouilly are known for their bright berry and plum fruit aromas and flavors. This is no exception. The ripe red fruit on the nose is colored by an earthy bit of mineral and wet stone. It's a richly textured wine with bold berry fruit and soft tannins. This wine is more proof that the 2009 Beaujolais vintage was an exceptional one.

2012 M. Lapierre Raisins Gaulois, $13.99

Located in the Morgon region, Lapierre is one of the most respected producers in Beaujolais. His Raisins Gaulois is made with grapes from younger vines (fewer than 20 years old). Juicy raspberry and strawberry aromas pour from the glass, while ripe red berry fruit flavors fill the mouth. The finish is smooth and silky with a nice touch of cranberry. It's a fun, affordably priced bottle, topped with a screw cap to keep it fresh.

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