In the Beaujolais region of France, the primary grape is Gamay which makes for a fresh and fruity wine. For years, it was thought that a grape grown in Napa was the same as Gamay and therefore called “Napa Gamay”. In 1980 the grape was correctly identified as Valdiguié. Despite the grape being easy to work with, many growers pulled it out and replanted their vineyards with Cabernet Sauvignon, which commands higher prices. While Valdiguié is almost extinct, a few producers are reviving it and one of them is Thacher Winery in Paso Robles. Thacher Winery 2017 Valdiguié Shell Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles Highlands District, is the Please The Palate Wine of the Week.
Valdiguié is a red wine grape grown primarily in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. It is also known by the name Gros Auxerrois. Valdiguié is a grape that can handle heat without its sugars spiking and its acids dropping. Valdiguié produces good yields and is disease resistant.
The Thacher Winery 2017 Valdiguié, Shell Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles Highlands District is made from 156 hand-harvested tons of Valdiguié grape. 30% of the fruit is kept whole-cluster while the rest is de-stemmed. The grapes undergo a 7-day cold soak, natural fermentation in neutral oaks, followed by a 7-day post-ferment maceration before pressing. The wine is aged for 12 months before bottling and is unfiltered and unfined. The resulting wine is a dark-purple wine. On the nose, it has generous aromas of flowers, blackberry and black raspberry, as well as white pepper. On the palate, the wine is fresh with juicy red fruit notes. The wine is light bodied but it is fresh, vibrant and expressive with bright acidity and a full mouthfeel.
Thacher Winery only makes 118 cases of the Valdiguié and sells it for $36 per bottle. Grab a bottle, slightly chill it and enjoy a refreshing glass of this food-friendly wine.