The Gamba Barrel
In the heart of Monferrato, France, the Gamba family has been handing down the ancient art of the master cooper from father to son for decades. Their unique wood aging and barrel building process takes considerable patience and capital, in keeping with the Gamba family tradition. White oak is sourced from the prestigious Allier Forest, then split to preserve continuous fibers through the entire length of each stave. The wood is then weathered in the microclimate of the French countryside for a full thirty-six months. This seasoning process polymerizes tannins and eliminates green phenolic components. Gamba Cooperage’s main objective is, as it has always been, to select the best wood so that the wines will have nothing but premium quality after aging. The treasured Gamba barrel ultimately leads to an incredibly soft, silky mouthfeel.
On the Wisconsin lakeshore just before the edge of Door County, the produces red wines to age in the prestigious Gamba barrel. The three varieties offered this summer by the winery are Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Clarksburg Old Vine Merlot, and Sierra Foothills Zinfandel. Each varietal is offered from French hybrid barrels and Gamba barrels, giving guests an opportunity to do a side by side tasting. If these same wines were offered from a California winery, their value would easily reach to just below $100/bottle. The Algoma winery offers all for less then $50/bottle.
Guests will often comment that the Gamba barrel-aged reds are smoother, and have more fruit aromas. Come taste the difference at von Stiehl!