Lila + Lore
Say hello to the long-awaited Lila & Lore, [Carbonic Gamay Projects #1 & #2]. As usual, these wines were made in only tiny quantities (even tinier than usual actually), so I am sharing them with you first with my sincere gratitude for following The Color Collector’s journey.
These wines are sun and moon. They are energetic foils to one another, two sides of the human experience. Lila is bright, exuberant and full of play. Lore is moody, capricious and introspective. Both are made for simple sipping: for sunny afternoon picnics or cool, quiet nights under the stars.
For those of us who like to understand how flavor and texture are affected by process, tasting to the two wines together is an interesting dialogue. Both were made using carbonic maceration, a technique in which whole clusters are put into tank and sealed up with CO2 gas. Rather than yeast beginning fermentation in the presence of oxygen and a liquid + solid solution, enzymes react in in the complete absence of oxygen to break down sugars from inside the grape berry skins, creating a distinct set of aromatic compounds.
Lore remained in tank like this for three weeks until the ºbrix (a density measurement winemakers equate with sugar) reached zero. By then, the wine was dark and rich with a firm tannin structure from the skins and stems and hints of smoke from the 2020 vintage.
In the months between making Lore in 2020 and my next chance at carbonic Gamay in 2021, I tasted a lot of wines. I branched out from the great producers of Beaujolais to taste things like high elevation Vernatsch, Cornalin, Canaiolo, Nerello Mascalese, and many Nebbiolos and Pinot Noirs. Among these were wines from Burgundy’s Charles Lachaux and the Jura’s Cellier Saint Benoit - both of whom use a significant percent of whole cluster but with short maceration times. These wines ignited light bulbs.
Lila began its life just like Lore, 100% whole cluster into the same stainless steel tank. But this time, I waited for the native yeast to come alive and for the ºbrix to drop just enough to create 2% alcohol, and then I pressed. After only ten days on the skins, the sweet juice finished its fermentation as pure liquid, just like a white. The wine had time to pick up color and texture from contact with the skins, but remained light-bodied and fresh.
To drink Lila and Lore together is to read the story of time and place. Wines, like people, are a product of experience and environment, nature and nurture. Sometimes that leaves marks – like the brushstrokes of campfire in Lore’s aromatic profile, remnants of Oregon’s 2020 wildfires – but ultimately, it is what makes us interesting and unique. These two wines bring different kinds of pleasure. They appeal to different moments and moods, but both excite me for the same reason: because they feel honest and alive, because they are both boldly true to themselves.
Lila and Lore are now both available on my website here. With summer upon us, I will soon begin temperature holds on shipping orders; however, I will check the weather carefully in your area and will send your wine as quickly as possible. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss expedited shipping options or local pick up.
As many of you may know from following along on Instagram, the past year has seen some big changes with new Gamay vines taking root at the Medō in White Salmon, WA as well as the construction of a pole barn outfitted as a cellar. For the first time the Color Collector is producing wine in its very own (humble) space, allowing more room for focus and creativity. The 2021 'classic' Gamay will be released in November, and once again, you will be the first to know.
Thank you, as always, for being part of the journey. Happy Summer Sipping!