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2020 La Clarine Farm Gamay

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The Gist

  • Grape Varieties: Gamay
  • Somerset, California
  • Organic farming
  • Whole cluster, spontaneous fermentation in open top tanks
  • Unfined/Unfiltered
  • No sulfur added
  • 11.5% ABV
  • 119 cases made
  • Distributed by Sylvester Rovine Selections

In the words of the winemakers, "this was an unexpected treat - I had mused about trying my hand at Gamay for a while, but the availability of the grape was tight, and I contented myself with enjoying what others produced from the grape. One morning, Chuck Mansfield drove me high into the hills above Camino to show me a “special” block of grapes, and he would like to see what I could do with them. Turns out, it was Gamay. The vines and fruit looked great, so we made an agreement on the spot.

We made this Gamay the old-fashioned way - whole cluster, foot-stomped, open top fermented. In other words, traditionally. (I definitely tried to channel J-P Brun here.)

The wine has a deep color, and very expressive notes of strawberry leaf, tobacco and sour cherry on the nose. It’s light and nimble on the palate, but also shows a compelling richness. There are hints of earth and tar. The finish is just about perfect.

This is not a “toy” version of Gamay - this is old school stuff. It needs air. It will probably age well for several years. I find it best now with a very slight chill."