Gamay Noir, B. Kosuge

A love affair with the Gamay grape continues unabated. This, a second effort, shares the exuberant juicy character with the 2015 with perhaps a touch more grip and a little more stem showing in the flavors. Like the 2015, it was aged entirely in concrete so that no oak would obscure its primal beauty. It was made in the spirit of Cru Beaujolais (not Nouveau), fermented with a lot of whole clusters and handled the same way as the Pinot Noirs–no added yeast, etc. Super fun stuff.

The cuttings brought back are of a clone originally selected in Beaujolais. The vines are a bit more upright growing than Pinot Noir, with somewhat paler leaves. The clusters are only a little larger than those of the neighboring Pinot Noir vines, although the berries are bigger and the clusters are more tight. They have a more purple color as grapes (in contrast to the Pinot Noir which appear black). They seem more resistant to botrytis and sunburn too.

The Shop, in Carneros, seems to be a good climate for Gamay. It’s on the warm side for Pinot Noir, but with its high acidity and slightly later ripening, Gamay is happy there. The soils at The Shop are clay loam, unlike the foothills which have granitic soil not unlike those found in Gamay’s ancestral home, Beaujolais. But the Gamay does not seem to mind. 2015 marked the first vintage of Gamay from the Shop and we feel encouraged by the early results.

United States