Just in time for spring, our Lucy duet has become a trio. We’re delighted to introduce our 2022 Gamay Noir alongside the 2022 Lucy Rosé and 2022 Lucy Pico Blanco. If Pico Blanco pays homage to its namesake mountain peak north of Big Sur, our latest Lucy finds echo in the skies and soil of Monterey Bay. A rich, deep red in the glass, it is vibrant with acidity and full of fruit. It is also, we think, the ideal addition to a label that lets us explore new varieties around the area we love.
Fittingly, given its hue, we ferment our Gamay Noir in a redwood tank that has been part of our family for close to a century. Purchased by Gary Pisoni’s grandmother for her husband, the tank began its life in the family’s basement during Prohibition. Now it occupies a place of pride in the winery. The wood of the tank is an excellent insulator: the warmer temperature of the must means that the wine develops a great deal of texture.
Gamay Noir is a variety that is special to Monterey County but that isn’t often recognized on its own merits. But given the geology and geography of our region, it’s a natural. It does well in granitic soils and offers us another expression of the hard-scrabble soil of our Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.
We think it’s a fitting wine to drink when the sun echoes its color as it sinks over the ridge of mountain or sea. In this newsletter, we’ve chosen the work of Erin Gafill, a fifth-generation California artist native to Big Sur, to help us conjure it. The luminous palette of her “Water/Sky/Earth” canvas recalls our coral-colored Lucy Rosé and Pico Blanco’s pale gold, too.
Savored singly or poured into glasses for a toast over dinner with friends, the 2022 Lucy Gamay Noir helps us reinforce our ties to the beautiful place we call home by thanking neighboring organizations. With every bottle of Gamay Noir, we donate a dollar to the Big Sur Fire Department, which means a great deal not only to us, but our entire county.
To them, we raise a glass of Gamay!
If the Lucy Rosé of Pinot Noir offers any preview into the quality of the coming wines for a given vintage, rest assured that 2022 will certainly be a vintage to remember. Sporting shades of melon, salmon, and coral that are classic for a Lucy Rosé, this beautiful offering packs unyielding aromatic intensity as it chills and condensates on the sides of the glass. Delicate at first with notes of fresh strawberry and subtle, mineral driven undertones, this wine begins to offer complexities seldom seen in rosé as it opens up in the glass. Plush notes of peach blossom and watermelon waft into the air, as the first sips offer citrus-driven flavors of tangerine and orange peel, backed by tart raspberry and rose petal. Brief but impactful aging in 100% neutral French oak barrels offer an added layer of texture that pairs seamlessly with fresh acidity.
A harmonious blend of 85% Pinot Gris and 15% Pinot Blanc, the 2022 Lucy Pico Blanco is quite simply, delicious. Elegant aromas of fresh honeysuckle, white peach, and candied ginger become more pronounced as a backdrop of wet stone and fresh sea air give the impression this wine was procured from the Monterey coast itself. These two old-world varieties meld together seamlessly on the palate in a youthful and approachable manner, as flavors of crisp pear and candied pineapple are supported by chalky, yet supple texture and lingering finish.
The newest member of the Lucy family, the 2022 Gamay Noir is an exciting representation of this lesser-known French variety. Sporting a youthful ruby hue, this wine bursts from the glass with raspberry, Bing cherry, fresh violets, and unmistakable spice notes from the whole cluster fermentation. Flavors of cranberry, red currant, and dried herbs make this irresistibly approachable and keep it true to its old-world roots. With a soft and elegant structure, as well as spirited acidity, this Gamay Noir is undoubtedly a welcome addition to the family.