2019 Grosjean Gamay
Region: Vallee D’Aoste < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: certified biodynamic farming; terraced vineyards on granitic limestone soil; 4-5 days of maceration followed by aging in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 13% ABV
Winemakers: The 5 Grosjean brothers!
High up in the Alps on the border of France (and the base of Mont Blanc), the Valle d’Aoste is a hidden gem in Italy, with more castles than residents. Tiny vineyard plots on volcanic soil dot the fairytale alpine landscape. Here the Grosjean family traces its roots back to the village of Fornet in the high mountain passes of the Valle d’Aosta where they raised cattle. During the summer months, the family cultivated grapes and chestnuts on the slopes at lower altitude (here, "lower" means 600m, roughly 2000 feet!), stocking up on wine to fortify themselves over the long winters. In 1969, Dauphin Grosjean, the father of the five sons that now run the estate, was encouraged to present his wine at the local "wine expo." Based on the positive reception of the wine, he decided to expand grape cultivation to a whopping 7 hectares (still tiny) and make estate wine. Today, the Grosjean family is one of the very few growers making their own wine -- with the small plots, individual grower yields are super low, so most sell their fruit to the local co-op.
We're partial to the high-altitude mountain wines of Vallee D’Aoste, which generally have a distinctive alpine character, lower alcohol and crunchy bright fruit -- a style the Grosjean wines exemplify. Like this Gamay that screams ALPINE with juicy, aromatic red fruit, black pepper and bright acid that goes down way too easy. If you're a Gamay fan, especially of the Beaujolais Village variety, this is up your alley.
SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED