What happens when you take one of Niagara’s prized Gamay vineyard blocks, spare no expense in the vineyard and cellar and treat the wine to extended barrel aging in French oak?Meet Courtney Gamay.
Of all the wines we make with Gamay (our favourite red grape), the Courtney vineyard is second to none. Exclusively sourced from a hand-tended, sustainably farmed block of old vines on our Beamsville Bench farm, Courtney is named after Selma Courtney, the previous owner of this cherished piece of land. Martin Malivoire formed a special relationship with Courtney, who lived alone, content with a simple life devoid of modern trappings as his winery began to take shape next door. When it came time for her to move and sell her land, she chose Malivoire and Martin pledged to remember Selma Courtney with a wine named in her honour.
Since its first vintage in 2002, this prized block of Gamay has been bottled separately due to its unique character. Extended aging in French oak barrels, a portion of which are new, is another distinction that sets this wine apart from our other Gamays. Expect a deep, richly fruited and smooth Gamay that has proven to age well if you resist pulling the cork.
Aromas combine fruity raspberry and blueberry with savoury black olive, herbal and peppery nuances. The palate sensation is fresh, supple medium-weight, adding characteristic gamay flavours of sour cherry and white pepper with a softly smoky tinge.
Hand-picked in our Estate Vineyard’s Courtney Block on October 26th as grape sugars averaged 22.4° Brix.
Once de-stemmed and crushed, the fruit fermented in large-format oak cuves. The greater (93%) portion of the wine aged in neutral barrels, while the other 7% aged first, for 10 months, in new oak before transferring to neutral oak. In all, the wine aged 16 months in barrel before bottling in February 2021.
At the time of bottling Alcohol measured 13%; Residual Sugar: 2 grams per Litre; Titratable Acidity: 7 grams per litre pH: 3.49
Dry: 2 g residual sugar
Food Companions: Serve near 14° C with steak tartar, a classic charcuterie plate or pork roast with roasted potatoes.
93 points — Different vintage, different expression of Gamay, which is why Malivoire’s deep dive into this grape is so fascinating. Once destemmed and crushed, the fruit was fermented in large format oak cuves. 93% of the wine was aged in neutral oak barrels while the rest was aged for 10 months in new oak before being transferred to neutral oak for a total of 16 months. This shows the serious side of Gamay with a savoury, earthy nose of brambly raspberries, plums, anise, garden herbs and integrated spice. It shows structure, ripe tannins and complexity on the palate with the full range of red berries, cranberries, peppers, spice, touch of smoke and a long, lifted finish. It has the stuffing to improve for five or more years in the cellar. Really fine Gamay and not the chugging kind! Rick Vansickle, WinesinNiagara.com
90 points - Dense purple-ruby in colour; cedary, cedary, plum on the nose with vanilla notes; medium-bodied, dry, red plum and cherry flavour with a herbal twist; firmly structured, lively acidity; wine to lay down for 2 years. Tony Aspler