The wines that first propelled my interest in working with Gamay were mainly from Beaujolais, and, after 13 vintages of Gamay here in California, I think I’m beginning to let go of that association, to some degree. Even at nearly 1,000 meters in elevation, Barsotti Ranch is essentially high desert. And the growing season is so much less circumscribed here, than in, say, Morgon. Yet, when things fall into place, in the vineyard, and in the growing season, there is a joyousness to wines made from this grape, that is as recognizable as a flirtatious smile.
FRUIT SOURCE: Barsotti Vineyard at almost 3,000 feet elevation, east and a bit north of Placerville. Vines planted in decomposed granite soil. 2014 was the 8th year of harvest at Barsotti.
WINEMAKING NOTES: The newest block, producing only its 2nd vintage, was picked on the 19th of August, for the second year in a row. Older blocks were picked on the 27th of August, and on Labor Day. Average Brix was about 22.8, pH about 3.38. Phenolic maturity was such that vibrant color was bleeding into the juice at the crusher, but the inclusion of 25-30% whole-clusters ultimately resulted in fairly light color. Open-top ferment, with 2-3 punchdowns daily. Pressed at dryness September 12, into stainless where it underwent malolactic. Racked in December, bottled on the 17th of February.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES: Very light red, almost Pinot-like. The nose is fresh, yet also distinctly earthy; sous-bois beneath fraises des bois. Flavors in fine balance around sneaky acidity. Lovely texture from the stems, subtle spice, as well. Finish lasts and lasts. 12.6% alcohol.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: Just under 750 cases
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2015
Steve Edmunds, winemaker