COUNTRY: United State of America (USA)
APPELATION (AVA): El Dorado
REGION: Sierra Foothills
SUB-REGION: El Dorado County
VINEYARD(S): Barsotto and Wintters Vineyards
GRAPES: Gamay Noir
SOIL: Barsotto / Musick Series; decomposed granite Witters / Aiken Series; volcanic clay loam
PRACTICE: Sustainable, organic
VINIFICATION: Partial carbonic maceration on 100% whole cluster. Aging 9 months.
COLOR: Red garnet
PRIMARY AROMAS: Strawberry English candy, lavender, cranberry, fresh pomegranate. Hearth and smoke.
FLAVOR: Cranberry and strawberry English candy, balsamic, pepper, clove, cinnamon. Bright and great balance.
FORMAT: 750 ml
SERVICE AND SUGGESTION: Summer food, cold cut, antipasto, porkchop, chicken salad.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER:
Arnot-Roberts was founded in Healdsburg in 2001 by childhood friends Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts. Beginning with one barrel of wine made in their basement, the winery started small and grew slowly by sourcing grapes from some of the most remarkable vineyards in California. Duncan and Nathan grew up together in the Napa Valley and from an early age were immersed in the rhythm of agrarian life surrounded by the vineyards and winemaking of the early 1980’s.
The focus of Arnot-Roberts is to produce distinctive, site-driven wines that highlight the nature of the unique terroirs in which the grapes are grown. The journey to this end has led Duncan and Nathan to seek out vineyards throughout Northern California and now includes incredible sites in Napa Valley, Sonoma Coast, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Rita Hills, Clearlake and Sierra Foothills. Single-vineyard wines are the core of the production as well as a few appellation bottlings that clearly speak of their individual upbringings. Some of the vineyards are old and dry-farmed, some are newer plantings, but all are farmed and cared for by passionate and conscientious growers, which is paramount to the fundamental goal of Arnot-Roberts: producing the most honest and expressive wines possible.
ABOUT THE WINEMAKING:
Both vineyards for this wine are located at around 3000’ elevation and are harvested and fermented separately, then blended together to make the final wine. The grapes are brought into the winery, loaded into steel fermentation tanks and sealed up for several days to commence carbonic maceration allowing the berries to start the fermentation process from the inside out. This technique, used in many of our favorite producer’s cellars in Beaujolais, adds a spicy fruitiness that infuse freshness and energy in the resulting wines. Upon completion of primary fermentation, the wine is transferred to a mix of neutral oak Foudre and stainless steel for aging before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
ABOUT THE VINEYARDS:
The Barsotti Vineyard is located at 2800’ elevation above the historic town of Placerville in the El Dorado appellation of the Sierra Foothills. The vines here were planted in 2005. The vineyard blocks slope gently towards the deepest section of the American River canyon which ushers cooling breezes down from the nearby snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Days in this region are bright and warm, punctuated by crisp evenings that help the fruit ripen slowly while retaining freshness and verve. The granitic soils are similar to those found in some of the top sites for Gamay in its homeland, the Beaujolais region of France.
At 3300’ elevation, the Witters vineyard is one of the highest plantings in California. This surreal sub-alpine site was first Gamay Noir planting in California in over a generation. The vineyard is a deep volcanic clay-loam soil, studded with Quartz and Feldspar crystals. The superlative northerly exposition and textbook airflow drainage patterns create a singular site that speaks with a strong voice for Gamay in California. The vines are planted on a gently sloping bench that looks North towards the snow-covered peaks of the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. The days are bright and warm but nights are cold, allowing for an extended growing season that produces grapes loaded with character.