Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2009
Gamay from Sierra Foothills, California
In 2009 the two Gamay plantings we've established produced the biggest crop they've given us thus far. Though we'd bottled separate Gamays from each, in ‘07 and ‘08, I wondered whether two Gamays from the only California producer in the market was the best plan, and I was also curious to see whether a better wine might come from blending the two. A quick trial made it clear; these two vineyards could give us a whole that was much greater than the sum of its parts. And the best Bone-Jolly ever!
The color is a lovely ruby-red. The nose is very fresh: violets, raspberry, a little pepper, and something faintly salty, as well. Flavors are very focussed, penetrating, and persistent, with gorgeous texture, and fine length. Mouth-watering, and fun to drink, and quite complex, at the same time. Bound to provoke considerable jolliness! Production: 952 cases
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. Highly expressive aromas of raspberry, cherry pit and botanical herbs; smells a lot like Campari. Lush and expansive, offering subtly sweet red fruit flavors and notes of licorice and herbs. Packs a serious punch but clocks in at only 12.3% alcohol. The finish is brisk, focused and impressively tenacious. This could stack up with some serious Beaujolais but the intensity of fruit is all California."
Edmunds St. John Winery
In ten short years, Steve Edmunds has carved out an enviable reputation as one of the true pioneers of the California "Rhône Ranger" movement. Located in Berkeley, California, Edmunds St. John specializes in Rhône style wines such as Syrahs, Mourvèdres and the blended Les Côtes Sauvage. View all Edmunds St. John Wines
About Sierra FoothillsView a map of Sierra Foothills wineries
Called gold country since the mid-1800's, the Sierra Foothills, located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, was a hot spot for those seeking a gold rush fortune. Some of these settlers brought some European vines with them and somewhere in that mix was the Zinfandel grape.
Notable FactsZinfandel remains the grape of choice here, followed by Rhone Blends. Volcanic rock & granite-based soils give their wines a robustness that make them unique, and highly sought after, particularly from the two best-known counties, Amador and El Dorado. Zinfandels here are spicy and structures, with brambly fruit and excellent backbone. Once a well-kept secret, wine from the Sierra Foothills is now on the national wine map.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.