Grant Coulter & Renée Saint-Amour
Tualatin Estate Gamay 2019
Renee and Grant source their Gamay from a hidden, 1-acre corner of the legendary Tualatin Vineyard, which lies northeast of Portland in the hilly, coastal-reaching McMinnville appellation of the Willamette Valley. The vineyard was planted by pioneer Bill Fuller in the early 1970s. Process is not often riveting; with Renée and Grant at the helm, however, it is. Their winemaking is collaborative and creative, a balancing act between artistic exploration and reverence for tradition. Here, the couple applies their trademark blend of hyper fastidiousness and benign neglect to produce one of our absolute favorite Gamay bottlings, American or otherwise. Once harvested, the fruit is portioned into thirds, each batch receiving a slightly different treatment —the first de-stemmed, the second partially whole cluster, and the third whole cluster carbonic. After fermentation the results are blended, and the wine is aged for 11 months in terracotta amphora and neutral oak. The summer of 2019 was a cool, and this wine shows it with a focus and vibrancy that sparks irrational joy.