We’ve now produced an even dozen vintages of rosé from Gamay, something I never imagined doing when I had finally persuaded a grower to plant some Gamay for us. It wasn’t until a friend, who is also a grower in Beaujolais, told me at dinner one evening, back in the Spring of 2006, that he had decided to use some of his grapes that year for rosé, that the thought ever crossed my mind.
That crossing, however, really snapped my brain into focus! What a great idea! Gamay, a grape known for making fresh, juicy wines full of utterly seductive perfume, and tenderness, with refreshing acidity, and such delicious and pretty flavor—who wouldn’t want a rosé just like that?!?
Fruit Sources: Witters Vineyard, at roughly 1,000 meters elevation is the site of our original planting of Gamay, in 2000. The soil at Witters is of volcanic origin, a clay-loam, quite red in color. Giving wines with good perfume, and finesse. Barsotti Ranch, at approximately 900 meters, is in weathered and decomposed granite soils, providing firm structure and grip to the wines that grow in it.
Winemaking: Grapes for the rosé were picked over the last four days of August, in considerable heat. Still, sugar levels were modest, with low ph, and very good flavor. All the grapes were de-stemmed into press, and, when the press was full, the pressing began, giving the juice a span of about forty-five minutes of maceration, providing ample color.
Fermentation proceeded in stainless tanks, below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, without inoculation. At dryness, the temperature was lowered, and a bit of SO2 was added, to inhibit malolactic fermentation. The wine was racked off primary lees after a couple of weeks, racked again in January, and bottled on February 12, 2018. Alcohol is 12.9%
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: fairly pale pink with blue highlight. Quite fresh and high-toned aromatically. Sleek and electric in the mouth, plenty of fruit, yet lean and nervous with a pleasing saline aspect. Very long, clean finish.
Total Production: 800 cases
Retail price: $22.00