2011 DIVISION GAMAY NOIR
Harvest Date: 10/25/2011
Sugar at Harvest: 22.5 degrees brix
Varietal: Gamay Noir
Final pH: 3.55
Final Alcohol: 12.6% by vol
Winemaking Notes: Partial carbonic maceration and fermentation
Fermentation & Aged 5 months in 100% neutral French Oak Burgundy barrels
|First labels on their way to the Gamay Noir|
Maybe our most exciting news from the 2011 vintage is the introduction of our new family member, Gamay!!! Kate and Tom first fell in love and made Gamay (Gamay Noir is the legal name in the U.S.) in the Loire Valley and then in the Beaujolais during their time living in France. Gamay’s story is deep, complicated and sometimes messy. The home grape to the Beaujolais region gained in popularity in 1980s with “Beaujolais Nouveau,” the easy drinking and fruity wine which is the first released wine of each vintage. With popularity and low prices came a race to the bottom and the unfortunate situation of everyone and their 3rd cousin making the wine in France. Quality suffered and the higher lever Beaujolais Cru wines took a major reputation beating. As sales plummeted, those less skilled vintners and growers exited and today Beaujolais is thankfully on the mend!
The Division 2011 Gamay Noir is absolutely delicious and we feel beyond fortunate to have some, even though our quantity is very small (51 cases). The Methven Family was luckier this year and the birds didn’t eat most of the vintage, resulting in very healthy fully ripe crop. That allowed us to purchase some last minute Gamay and go to work on making the wine in the style of Beaujolais Cru wines grown on the Beaujolais Mountains hillsides in towns like Fleurie, Julienas (Where we lived), Chiroubles, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent. We used carbon dioxide during the maceration, a process known as carbonic maceration. We kept that going with carbonic fermentation to start, where the wine ferment inside of the unbroken grape skin. However, more traditional fermenting techniques where utilized a few days after the ferments began (i.e. punchowns). We did a small amount in a open top barrel in the fully carbonic method, but it didn’t take properly and was unfortunately discarded at the end.
|Almost home, the 2011 Gamay Noir rounds the bend on the bottling line|
The excitement for Gamay is hard for us to contain. We only wish we had a little more! The 2011 Division Gamay is very well balanced and with a nice and long texture (no mid-palate doughnut hole here!) and firm medium tannin structure. We find the wine nose to be reminiscent of strawberries with peppered rare roast beef, yes peppered roast beef! The strawberries come out in the taste, but most importantly, the distinctive varietal flavor of carbonic Gamay is very present. This is a great Gamay wine for numerous food and non-food occasions that we enjoy thoroughly. As always, Pair with Good Times, Good Food and Good People!