Arnot-Roberts (Northern California only), 2019 Gamay Noir, El Dorado
From high elevation vineyards planted by and for visionary California winemaker Steve Edmunds and local stone fruit grower Ron Mansfield, the Barsotti & Witters vineyards were once considered to be on the very edge of what was possible for ripening quality wine grapes. Cold nights in the spring jeopardized the year’s crop due to spring frosts and in the late summer they might shut down the ripening process. The granitic soils of the Sierra foothills prove to be the best match for the Gamay, originally from the granite hills of Beaujolais, and global warming is proving that these men were way ahead of the pack.
As is their style, the Arnot-Roberts team successfully produces this wine in a manner that shows plenty of fresh grape, spice, earth and mineral components in the nose while showing proper restraint on the palate with bright crisp acidity backing up a fairly full and concentrated expression of this delicate varietal. Very suitable for aging, it nonetheless shows exceptionally well in the first couple of years in the bottle.