Edmunds St John "Bone Jolly" Gamay Noir El Dorado County 2019Regular price $26.00 Save Liquid error (product-template line 131): Computation results to '-Infinity'%
Direct Press Selection | January 2022
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Steve Edmunds began in the 1980's as one of the 'Rhone Rangers' working with Syrah, Mourvedre, Marsanne, and Gamay in California instead of the Bordeaux or Burgundian varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. He went from getting heckled for making 'French' wines in California to being an elder statesman of the new-wave California movement of the past decade, letting the vineyards and the soil come through instead of heavy-handed winemaking.
The Bone-Jolly Gamay, a take on Beaujolais complete with dancing skeletons on the label, has always been a contrarian's California wine. I have enjoyed many vintages of this unpretentiously delicious wine over the past 15 years, and it never gets old, though you can more commonly find wines in the mold of this from a younger generation thumbing their noses at the template set by Robert Parker.
The grapes come from Barsotti Ranch in the Sierra Foothills of El Dorado County. It's a high-desert growing condition at 3200 feet elevation, so nothing really like Beaujolais in that sense. It's lively and juicy, a vibrant display of cherries and cranberries, with enough soft, dark undertones to provide balance. It has all the heart-warming, life-affirming soul of great Beaujolais. I'd say it has a little more earnest California clarity, and a little more brambly fruit underneath. [Jonathan Kemp, December 2021]