La Clarine Farm 2020 Gamay, Sierra Foothills

La Clarine Farm 2020 Gamay, Sierra Foothills

Item Number: 16444

UPC: None

Country: USA
Region: California
Sub Region: Sierra Foothills
Appellation/AVA: Sierra Foothills
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vintage: 2020
Grape(s): Gamay
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Screw Cap
Alc by Vol(%): 11.5
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Case Production: 119

Hank Notes: "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.

Of course, I wasn’t going to make some carbonic, tooty-fruity sort of wine from these grapes (not that there’s anything wrong with that style, but it’s not me). 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.) At first, I was quite unsure of the results. I have no data points for the grape, and I wasn’t sure what was going on. The wine was “correct”, but also unexpressive. Well, I figured, I must have messed it up, and maybe I could use it in a blend or something. Six months later, the wine started to come alive. Nine months in, I was wondering why I hadn’t attempted this much earlier in life. I loved it!"

Tasting Notes: 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. We find it best now with a very slight chill.