TN: 2015 RPM Wines Gamay Noir (USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County)

  • 2015 RPM Wines Gamay Noir - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County (12/15/2016)
    12.8% abv. Light ruby with moderate aromatics. On the palate, cranberry, crushed rock and Christmas spice. Well delineated, savory, lively, energetic, distinctive and tasty. Great now, I have no way to judge ageability. (90 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

If I’m not mistaken this will be the last vintage of RPM. Moving forward with the 2016 vintage (now on offer in the current release) the wine will be produced under the Arnot Roberts label. Same exact vineyards as RPM but I wonder if the wine will taste the same without Parr’s influence.

RPM Gamay is the poster child for paying a California premium for no reason.

Had to say it.

What’s the tariff on this wine?


$30 or $35. I forget. Then there is shipping.

Thivin Broully is $8-10 less.

No reason?

What if the purchaser enjoys the wine?

What if the purchaser likes the idea of supporting local wineries experimenting with different grape varieties?

It’s not always about money.

Had to say it.

I get it. I have had several vintages of the wine and find nothing distinctive about it to make it worth paying for.

I have not yet found the '15, but when I see it I will pay the tariff. The '13 cost me around $37 a bottle all in, and I managed to find the '14 for about $23 all in.

I think there is a quite valid reason to pay the price. To me, RPM is not a Bojo wannabe, it’s a “happy wine”. The RPM has an exuberance and a joyfulness to it, with the complexity coming from the multi-layered fruit rather than from more traditional AFWE elements. My favorite Beaujolais have a certain gravitas and hew more toward AFWE tastes. But who says we can’t enjoy both? The California version is doing things with fruit flavors that simply won’t happen in Beaujolais.

When I drink the RPM it puts a smile on my face and I’m happy I bought it, even in the $35 range. In an ideal world would it cost a fair amount less? Sure, but understand this is a wine I first tried at a restaurant on a whim and liked well enough to order some the next day at a fairly inflated price.

Sad to hear no more RPM but will have to look into the Arnot Roberts in the future.

As for aging, my last bottle of the '13 had shut down a bit. It might age well, but I’ll admit I’m far more inclined to Pobega these and cellar more traditional cru Bojos.

$23 would entice me…maybe.

The 2016 Arnot Roberts version became available on their site this week. I just bought a couple of bottles @$30 per … Here is their flackage of the wine:

2016 Gamay
Also, we are very excited to be releasing our Gamay Noir for the first time in this offer. Many of you will know that we have been working with Gamay from the Sierra Foothills since 2011 under the RPM label. RPM was a collaborative effort between our friend Rajat Parr and us with the goal of exploring the nature of this variety grown in granitic soils at the Barsotti and Witters vineyards outside Placerville. 2015 was the final vintage for the RPM label and we are now thrilled to bring it into our lineup. Both vineyards for this wine are located at around 3000’ elevation and are harvested and fermented separately, then blended together to make the final wine. The grapes are brought into the winery, loaded into steel fermentation tanks and sealed up for several days to commence carbonic maceration allowing the berries to start the fermentation process from the inside out. This technique, used in many of our favorite producer’s cellars in Beaujolais, adds a spicy fruitiness that infuses freshness and energy in the resulting wines. Upon completion of primary fermentation the wine is transferred to a mix of neutral oak Foudre and stainless steel for aging before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. We think the 2016 is the best we have produced to date and will prove to be a delicious and versatile wine of pure enjoyment..

Steve Edmunds makes Gamay from the same sites that is just as good and notably cheaper.

Steve’s “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir is sourced only from Barsotti Vineyard. His “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir Rosé is sourced from Witters Vineyard, as I believe that Steve feels the fruit from that site produces better rosé than red. Steve used to make a “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir that was a blend from both vineyards along with one called “Porphyry” that was just from Barsotti, but in recent years he’s dropped that last bottling and just makes the red and rosé “Bone-Jolly” wines.

True. Forgot about that change, but the point stands. I just do not feel the RPM wine is worth the money.