Edmunds St John harvested its 16th successive vintage of Gamay in 2017 (and vinified its 12th vintage of rosé from Gamay)! It’s gratifying to know that the wines we’ve offered from Gamay have provided substantial pleasure to plenty of folks over those years, enough to have drawn the attention of other growers and vintners, who’ve now undertaken their own plantings, and bottled some Gamay wines of their own. Maybe it’s time for a jolly gathering!
The winter of 2016/2017 broke Northern California’s five-year long drought, producing historic levels of precipitation, and greatly replenishing reservoirs, and aquifers. The result was that in 2017 the vines were pretty comfortable, and brought forth abundant crops.
The season began fairly early, again, because winter temps were slightly above normal. There weren’t any prolonged periods of excessive heat, and the ripening period, which began a bit later than during the drought, was relatively even, and moderately warm. Harvest was generally smooth and orderly. And the grapes gave us some delicious wine!
FRUIT SOURCE: Barsotti Vineyard at almost 3000 feet elevation, east and a bit north of Placerville. Vines planted in decomposed granite soils. 2017 was the 11th year of harvesting Gamay at Barsotti.
WINEMAKING NOTES: Picking Gamay at Barsotti in 2017 began on the 28th of August in the newer blocks, and was completed in the older blocks on the 4th of September. Average Brix levels were just slightly above 21 degrees. pHs were low, as usual. All the grapes were de-stemmed into open-top fermenters (half-ton bins), and the skins were manually punched down morning and evening. When the wine had fermented dry, it was pressed into stainless, where it proceeded through spontaneous malolactic fermentation.
Racking was done in mid-December, and again in the first week of February. Bottling was on February 12th.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES: The color in the ’17 is on the light side, it’s a pretty ruby red. The nose is very fresh, and quite tense and mineral, with intriguing depth and strong soil tones.
On the palate, there’s lovely Gamay fruit behind ample acidity, all framed by suave tannins, and a fine, savory finish. Comes to life with air, with time, with food! 12.9% alcohol.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: Just under 600 cases
RELEASE DATE: July, 2017