2017 DV "l'Avoiron" Rose of Gamay Noir
2017 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 nearly 6- acre block of Gamay Noir at Willard Farms, 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 originally from Beuajolais that missed his native varietal. While we came looking for Chenin Blanc, this Gamay was too good to pass up. 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 glacial runoff 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 inten- sity, 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 produc- tion, while keeping acidity high. After several warm to hot vintages, 2017 started later and cooled off in September rather quickly. As a result, we were able to pick well into October and give the grapes ample ripening time.
In order to pick up the right balance of color desired to make our pale rosé, we destemmed about 75% of the grapes and mixed them with the whole cluster bunches into a single press load. For the fermentation, we kept the amazing tasting lees from 2016 vintage aiming to reactivate some dormant yeasts for one 2017 ferments and built up a pied de cuve from the vineyard for the 2nd ferment. Both methods worked and the two stainless tank ferments began very quickly and we kept it on the cooling jacked at 15 C. A quick month to month and a half long ferment to dryness ensued, before allowing the wines to finish the malolactic fermentation and ageing in tank for 5 months.
The result of our 2017 ”l’Avoiron” Rosé of Gamay Noir features a crazy amazing, fresh strawberry fruity nose with watermelon and high-toned fresh cut grass and warm chalky earth beneath. There’s also a really nice finish of sour cherry and cherry pit. The dominant tones reminds us of Beaujolais rosés with the aromatics that include strawberry, peach, and chalky lime. We are sure this rosé will be the perfect accompaniment to spring, summer, and just about any fun gathering that calls for crushable pink wine!
Alc 11.9%, 750 cases produced