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  The famous grape of Beaujolais, where the mass-produced basic product has a tell-tale "pear-drop" characteristic to its bouqyet a by-product of its maceration carbonique style of vinification. These are wines that should be drunk very young and very fresh, although traditionally vinified wines from Beaujolais’ nine classic crus can be aged like other red wines and, after 10 or 15 years, will develop Pinot noir varietal traits. This may just be a phenomenon or, as some believe, occur because the grape is possibly the result of an ancient, natural clone of the Pinot noir. In France, the synonym Gamay Beaujolais is used for the true Gamay, but in California it is the synonym of the Pinot noir. As Leon Adams notes in "The wines of America", this erroneous American synonym arose out the genuine confusion when Paul Masson brought back to his winery several Burgundian grapes, one of which he honestly believed to be the Gamay of Beaujolais. It was positively identified as the Pinot noire in the mid-1960s, but by this time several Californian wineries were selling their own brand of Gamay Beaujolais. Before its true identity was revealed, another grape - the Napa gamay - that had been cultivated in California for some time, was identified as the true Gamay.

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