From Ken and Erica: We are huge fans of Gamay Noir as it is expressed in the great wines of Beaujolais. The varietal was planted in Oregon originally in the early 1980’s and has been quietly making some stunning wines in the Willamette Valley ever since.
We have been hunting for a great Gamay Noir vineyard to play with for years, tenaciously asking the great Gamay producers for a bit or fruit, asking growers to plant some for us... Nothing worked out until our friend Janis Pate shared with us that she had 1.3 acres available at her beautiful, biodynamically farmed Arlyn
Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains.
2017 is our first vintage working with this fruit. Having just a small amount of experience working with the varietal in the past, we looked to a handful of producers in Beaujolais that we admire as models for what we wanted to achieve. The goal is purity of fruit, freshness with minerality and subtle structure. Not just a simple fruity Gamay, but one with depth and muscle. To that end the grapes were fermented dry with 40% whole cluster and ambient yeasts then aged in neutral barrels for 10 months at which point it was bottled without fining or filtration.
We are very happy with the finished wine, the nose hints at pepper, crushed berries and wet granite. On the pallet the wine is fresh and persistent with medium tannins and balanced acidity highlighting crunchy fruit that makes the wine immediately appealing. This is meant for now, but will hold well for years to come if you choose to hold it for a while.