2019 Vincent, Gamay Noir, Bjornson Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
I just got turned on to Vincent Wine Company by a friend who has just started her label up in the Willamette Valley and was telling me of some of the up and coming and cool wineries to check out and the Gamay has loads of personality and very naturally styled with zesty pure fruits and a touch of raw savory tones with fresh strawberry, plum, cranberry and macerated cherries leading the way on the light and tangy palate. Vincent Fritzsche, who focuses on single vineyard Pinots, launched his winery in 2009 after working in both California and Oregon, is now based in the Eola-Amity Hills and has a delicious collection of wines, all of which are incredibly well priced, especially this one. This unfiltered ruby hued Gamay, best served with a chill, opens nicely with floral detail, some blue fruits, earthiness, a herbal crunch and an almost old work funk, reminding me of Clos de la Roilette Fleurie, impressive, less fruity and fun stuff that goes well with simple cuisine. Vincent does a single vineyard Pinot from the Bjornson Vineyard, as well as this Gamay, which is located in the winery’s home base Eola-Amity Hills AVA on iron rich gravelly soils, much like the prestigious Zenith Vineyard, which Fritzsche also sources, for his top Pinots.
Fritzsche employs a natural and traditional winemaking with all of his wines, with his Gamay seeing partial whole cluster, vintage dependent, non carbonic fermentation with gentle pileage and an all native yeast primary, allowing things to get going before doing daily punch downs and a light wetting of the cap during the maceration. Once dry, usually after 18 to 24 days the wine is pressed and settled for close to three days before going into well used barrels, some up to ten years old, with the elevage lasting about a year in the oak. Very little is done in the cellar, except for ultra small doses of sulfur for stability as these wines are bottled without filtration. Vincent gets a lot of attention for the Pinot Noirs, but I also hear his Chardonnay and in particular the Pinot Blanc are not to be missed either, and I look forward to digging into them soon, and especially as this Gamay proved to be very delightful over the course of the evening, getting more and more pretty as it opened completely. Working with vineyard sites that are truly sustainable, if not all organic and or biodynamic, Vincent is looking to let the vineyards speak for themselves, like this Bjornson Vineyard, which is located almost next door to the famous Seven Springs Vineyard and set on classic Jory (volcanic) soils, which Vincent says gives soft tannins, vibrant acidity and more spice and flowery profiles, evident here in the Gamay. This is an exciting winery to start following, joining a ever expanding set of new generation labels in Oregon that are hand crafting wines of passion and terroir.
($25 ESt.) 90 Points, grapelive