The 18th year of Gamay for ESJ! The growing season was on the warm side, though without notable heat spikes, and no prolonged periods of hot weather.
The crop was a substantial one, and ripening began at the very end of August. The Gamay for red wine at Barsotti Ranch was picked beginning on the 7th of September, and completed on the 9th, at a point when a dramatic cool-down had begun, that saw daytime highs drop from the mid-90’s down to the low-mid-80s, perfect ripening temps. that favor retention of acidity, and slow the rapid dehydration and the accumulation of sugar, keeping alcohol levels in check.
Fruit Source: Barsotti Ranch, Apple Hill District, between Placerville and Camino, at roughly 3000 feet elevation, in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Barsotti first planted Gamay, at our request, in 2005, and we’ve made wine from Barsotti Gamay ever since. Soil at Barsotti is sandy, largely decomposed granite, which has long proven to be the type of soil that seems to bring out the best in Gamay.
Winemaking Notes: At harvest we de-stem Gamay into half ton bins, and within a few days they begin to ferment without any nudging on our part. At that point the cap of skins, once risen to the top of the bins, is gently punched down twice each day, to permit color and tannic structure to develop, and for the CO2 to blow off. At dryness the wine goes into the press, after which it’s returned, minus skins, to tank to age. Racking is done after a few months, when the wine has pretty much fallen clear. A second racking is usually done in roughly mid-January, prior to bottling in late January or early to mid-February.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: The 2019 Gamay shows a brilliant ruby color. On the nose the wine is exceptionally nervy, and focused, smelling of fresh raspberry, cranberry, and savory spice, in the mouth, it’s long and lean, there’s a very subtle high note of menthol over a cool entry, energetic flavors including the aforementioned berries, a lovely palate-coating texture of supple tannins. The finish is lengthy, pleasing and engaging, and quite suave.
545 cases produced $23.00 per bottle