Edmunds St. John Gamay Noir Porphyry Barsotti Ranch 2008
Gamay from Central Coast, California
Working with a young vineyard, in its first couple of seasons, it's hard to know just how reliable the impressions are that one has about the wines it produces. When they're young, vines need to channel a lot of their energy and vigor into their roots, so the crop needs to be kept small, and a small crop ripens differently than a larger one. It's not a bad time to experiment, since, essentially, that's what you're doing anyway. In 2007 we only had two bins of Gamay from Barsotti, so I didn't de-stem. In '08 there were 8 bins, so I did. Plenty to think about.
Barsotti Ranch, just to the North of Camino, at a bit over 3,000 feet elevation. The soils where we planted Gamay at Barsotti are composed, in large part, of decomposed granite, for which Gamay, in France's Beaujolais region, has a compelling affinity. It seems to work here, too! The fruit we've gotten in the first couple of years has been particularly characterful, giving wines that have us excited for the future.
Moderately dark purply red, fresh nose of raspberry and a whisper of fennel. Intense on the palate, with very lively acidity,bright raspberry flavors, and a splendid wave of fine tannins framing a lengthy finish. Begs for flavorful food. Production: 220 Cases Produced
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, bright red. Musky redcurrant, cherry, licorice and herbal aromas, plus a suggestion of candied flowers. Sweet, sappy and assertively tangy, with a strong bitter cherry flavor. Offers more density than the Bone-Jolly, but the red and dark fruit flavors are a bit youthfully introverted right now, making this a tough read. The firm, gripping finish lingers with good spiciness and clarity. I'd like to come back to this in a year. "
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 Central Coast
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
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.