2020 Jolie-Laide, Gamay Rosé, Witters Vineyard, El Dorado County.
The delicately pale pink Jolie-Laide Gamay Rosé is vividly fresh and crisply refreshing with bright fruit detail and has a tangy pop to it with tart cherry, strawberry, red peach, citrus and a steely mineral charm, this is impressively delicious. As it opens there is plenty of vigor and zesty acidity to balance the Gamay’s natural fruitiness and it adds a touch of spice, floral tones, wet rock and anise, making it easy to love with a bone dry profile and a layer of complexity that makes you pay attention. Inspired by a trip to Beaujolais many years back, as Jolie-Laide winemaker Scott Schultz notes, Steve Edmunds, who might be the first in California to do a serious true Gamay and a Rosé of Gamay Noir under his Edmonds St. John label, and Ron Mansfield took the great risk of planting the first known true Gamay Noir in the state, high up in the Sierra Foothills where they found some granite and quartz soils, all of which paid off eventually as Gamay finally got the love it deserves. Jolie-Laide’s Spring releases, with a new set of artist labels are all very tasty, in particular their quaffable Freisa, a gullible Piedmonte inspired red and the racy Melon de Bourgogne.

The Gamay was grown at 3300 feet up in the Sierras on deep volcanic clay loam and quartz at the Witters Vineyard, in fact it’s one of the highest vineyards in California with hot days, but very cold nights that helps retain good freshness and balanced flavors, which Scott wanted to highlight here with his Rosé. The achieve his goals with the Gamay Rosé, Schultz made sure to pick the grapes early to preserve vibrant acidity and employed a cold whole cluster pressing to a unique set of vessels, a combination of stainless, concrete, and neutral oak. After a short skin maceration there was a short wait for a natural spontaneous fermentation. The Jolie-Laide Witters Vineyard Gamay Rosé was then raised for six months before bottling to capture all of its exceptional vitality, this is a wine I should have bought more of, especially for the warm days ahead. As Rosé season heats up there is a lot of great choices to satisfy your thirst for quality dry pinks, and this Jolie-Laide joins a fun new and riveting set of wines and producers to explore. Based in Sebastopol Jodie-Laide does a nice collection of small batch wines, you’ll need to be on their list to get them as these limited offerings sell out within days of release, luckily a few stores get some bottles, act fast to get some, don’t delay get on it!
($28 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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