2016 DV "L'Avoiron"
Rosé of Gamay Noir
2016 Division-Villages “l”Avoiron” Rosé of Gamay Noir
One of fastest growing and diverse American wine growing regions of the past 40 years is the Columbia Valley, a wide swath of land that reaches from the northern border of Oregon to well into the northeastern parts of Washington State. Within this region is a is the Yakima Valley, which is home to our block of Gamay Noir at Willard Farms, and which we farm exclusively to make our Gamay Rosé and Gamay Nouveau wines. The Gamay was planted in 2006 on the advice of Yakima based vigneron origi- nally from Beuajolais that missed his native varietal. While we came looking for Chenin Blanc, this Gamay was too good to pass up, and we had quickly grown to admire its excellent, albeit quirky, owner/farmer Jim Willard, who has a deep understanding of the soils and region. We love this particular site for its mineral intense soils formed from volcanic Miocene uplift against basalt bedrock that is layered with a primary top soil being made up of quartz and lime- silica, overlaid with the mixed sedimentary run- off of Missoula floods that makes the soils in the region so dynamic, unique, and in this case, perfect for making crisp and focused rosé!
We believe the best wines will be made by picking before overly ripe characteristics dominate the wine and balance and finesse suffer. Therefore, especially with rosé, which we seek more white wine-like vibrancy than red wine-like richness or intensity, we pick this site relatively early with more acid driven grapes and lighter red fruit. To achieve this profile, we crop and keep the canopy managed in a way to provide a lot of shading to slow sugar production, while keeping acidity high. The early start of this vintage and the late heat wave necessitated picking this fruit fairly early again, this year on September 6th.
Our decision in 2015 to make a substantial increase in the production of this rosé to meet demand turned out again to be an underestimation, and this wine sold out in nearly two months! We were quite happy with our 2015 picking strategy, and work within similar parameters in 2016. In order to pick up some color, we destemmed about 50% of the grapes and mixed them with the whole cluster bunches in the press. For the fermentation, we kept the amazing tasting lees from 2015 vintage aiming to reactivate some dormant yeasts for the 2016 wine. The method worked and the two stainless tank ferments began very quickly and we kept it on the cooling jacked at 15 C. A quick month long ferment to dryness ensued, before we dropped the cooling to 2C to hold the wine from going through malo-lactic fermentation.
The result of our 2016 ”l’Avoiron” Rosé of Gamay Noir is yet again a crisp, vibrant and mineral intense rosé wine with a perfect peachy pink hue, and harkens more of white wine in body and texture. We are reminded of Beaujolais rosés with the aromatics that include strawberry, peach, and chalky lime. The palate is bright and mineral rich with a distinct berry intensity. We are sure this rosé will be the perfect accompaniment to spring, summer, and just about any fun gathering that calls for wine!
Alc 13.1%, 725 cases produced