The wines that first propelled my interest in working with Gamay were mainly from Beaujolais, and, after 15 vintages of Gamay here in California, I think I’ve begun to let go of that association, by and large. Even at nearly 1,000 meters in elevation, Barsotti Ranch is essentially a 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. 2015 was the 9th year of harvest at Barsotti.
WINEMAKING NOTES: The newest block, producing only its 3rd vintage, was picked on the 19th of August, for the third 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 3.33. Phenolic maturity was such that vibrant color was bleeding into the juice at the crusher. Ferment was open-top, with 2-3 punch downs daily. Pressed at dryness third week of September, into stainless where it underwent malolactic. Racked in December, bottled on the 20th of January, 2016.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES: Intense, medium purple- red, in color; the nose is fresh, yet also distinctly earthy; sous-bois beneath fraises des bois. Flavors in fine balance around sneaky acidity. Lovely texture, supple tannins round on the finish, which lasts and lasts. 13.5% alcohol.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: Just under 400 cases
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2016