2015 Gamine Syrah
2015 Gamine Syrah
Applegate Valley AVA
Kate is so honored that her personal wine project, Gamine Wines, has been so well received, compelling her to keep making the wines that are influenced by the regions, styles and varieties that her mother, Sylviane loves and drinks! (Think Champagne down to the Rhone!)
Kate partners with grower Herb Quady on her Mae’s Vineyard Syrah. Herb grew up in the family of the famed Quady Winery in California’s Central Valley, and later became the vineyard manager for Randall Graham’s Bonny Doon wine empire, before coming north to southern Oregon with his sights on applying organic farming techniques to a region with mostly undiscovered vineyard potential. His Mae’s Vineyard block slopes southeast into the Applegate Valley in what can only be said as one the prettiest spots
we’ve seen in the state. Loamy/clay and marine sediment overlay sits on top of a large granite slab (yes granite!), which makes this a truly distinctive site to work with.
From the Umpqua south to the California border, the 2015 vintage was quite hot and dry, bordering on record breaking for the entire state. Within the appellation, the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon was also dry, but just a bit cooler than the greater Rogue, especially during the crucial ripening weeks leading up to harvest. As usual, Herb did a fantastic job managing the extreme conditions to keep the sugar ripeness and acids in balance.
Kate has been able to really get a good sense of the site and has developed a fermentation style that is inspired by the juxtaposition of intensity and elegance of Syrahs from the Northern Rhone. This wine is a study in tension and release. The fermentation includes small amounts of Viognier and is post macerated in on the skins for a few weeks to further integrate the early chewy tannins that Syrah is known for. Ageing is held in barrel in a mix of new, neutral and stainless barrels to retain freshness, while having a hint of the Oak’s fine tannins and structuring capabilities.
The 2015 Gamine Syrah has a tremendous amount of balance and finesse for such a hot and dry year, even with a slightly higher alcohol degree than previous vintages. The wine’s aromatics lead with leather and bramble. On the palate the wine is noticeably savory, with coffee notes playing again pomegranate and salty cured meats. There is explosive flavor and acid, balanced perfectly with the weight in mouth— plenty of juiciness with a great length of finish, making each sip refreshing yet complex and ultimately pleasing.
Vineyards– Mae’s Vineyard, Applegate Valley AVA Alc - 14.1%, pH 3.76, 80 cases