Les Petitis Fers
Gamay Noir 2017
Willamette Valley, Oregon, $23.99
"The Gamay Noir grape, which hails from the Beaujolais region and also flour- ishes in the Loire Valley, is witnessing a rapid popularization in growth in the U.S. over recent years. A fact that that makes us very happy!
The majority of our “Les Petits Fers” Gamay comes from three vineyards in the Eola-Amity hills, a part of the Willamette Valley, an area known as typically one of the coolest and wettest major wine growing regions in the U.S. The mix of soils is mostly volcanic clay with some marine sedimentary overlay, espe- cially at the lower elevations. We had the opportunity to also include some Dundee Hills Gamay, for the first time, which adds a truly new dimension to the wine. The balance of this cuvee comes from Rebecca’s Vineyard, a volcanic clay site that borders on cold for growing grapes in some years, but old own rooted vines have proven to grow excellent and unique Gamay that we have come to really appreciate. Rebecca’s is located in a lesser know area of Ore- gon, 100 miles to the south in the northern coastal slopes near Eugene, named after the area’s primary river, the Umpqua AVA. All of these AVAs share some commonalities that make them excellent for growing Gamay, including the proximity to the Van Duzer corridor which pulls in cool coastal air at night time to help drop the temperature to better retain acidity, as well as great exposure to the warmth in the afternoons for ripening.
We fell hard for the carbonic maceration fermentation technique while learning about and making wine in the Beaujolais region. Carbonic Maceration involves fermenting the wines fully on the stems in a closed vessel that is initially inundated with co2 that macerates the grape skins by mostly using the co2 to enzymatically extract color, phenolics and flavors. We utilize this traditional Beaujolais technique for much of the “Les Petits Fers” Gamay Noir, including a fully carbonic ferment with one of the Methven blocks and partial carbonic ferment for the Redford-Wetle & Bjornson sites. Only Rebecca’s Vineyard was fermented without the stems as a more traditional red fermentation involving pulverization and recir- culation. This allowed us to create a balance between the fruity carbonic wine with nuanced and vibrant traditional wine. Each of the ferments were relatively short this year and lasted about 15 - 20 days on the skins, with the wines being pressed off in late October for ageing in two 475 gallon cement vessels, two puncheons (500L) and four neutral Burgundy French oak barrels." Winery Notes.