2006 Paul Mathew Gamay Noir
Knight's Valley

2006 Paul Mathew Knight's Valley Gamay Noir

Availability: Sold out.
Magnums: $33.00

Vineyards

Squire Vineyard is probably the oldest Gamay vineyard planted in a premium appellation in California. By all rights it should have been ripped out years ago and planted to Cabernet Sauvignon which would be much more profitable for the owners. I am very thankful that hasn't happened. This two acre vineyard is located in Knight's Valley, just across the Sonoma county line north of Calistoga. The vineyard is now approximately 60 years old and produces about 2 tons per acre. The vines are head pruned and dry farmed.

Winemaking

The growing season gave us grapes with thick skins making for bigger tannins than we expected. The grapes required very gentle handling to keep the tannins soft and supple. We did 75% carbonic maceration and 25% destemmed and punched down three times per day. It completed Malolactic fermentation and has absolutely no sugar left in the wine. The wine never saw any wood and was bottled in January 2007.

Winemaker's Notes

This wine shows classic carbonic maceration qualities of banana, strawberry and forward fruit. The intensity of the vineyard comes through with grapey flavors, anise, and Bing cherry. It finishes soft on the palate with a long lingering finish. This is a great summer wine to enjoy with summertime food and a slight chill.

Reviews

Mark Tarbell, owner of Tarbell's restaurant in Phoenix
Paul Mathew makes the most elegant California Pinot Noirs I've recently tasted. Gamay Noir, a distant cousin of Pinot Noir and the famous grape of Beaujolais, is a true unsung summer wine hero. It takes a lot of courage to make this wine, and in this case, it was totally worth it. The color is bright purple with a vibrant glow. The aroma is chewy Gamay - dried powered red and black cherry. Really well made flavors of blueberry and red and black cherry are very focused and clean... nice. It's very bold, fresh and exciting, definitely off the beaten path, but a great summer red. I recommend serving slightly chilled. 91 points.

Press Democrat wine columnist Peg Melnik
Spicy, rich and silky. Notes of black cherry, black pepper and anise. Seamless.