2014 Division Gamay Noir 'Cru'
Harvest date: September 29th
Sugar at harvest: 23.8 degrees brix
Production: 78 cases
Final pH: 3.48
Final alcohol: 13.7% by vol
Vineyards: Methven Family Vineyards (LIVE Certified) - Eola-Amity Hills
Aging: Two fermentations were made, one semi-carbonic and one fully destemmed traditional fermentation, both utilized spontaneous fermentation. Barrel aged in one neutral barrel and one neutral puncheon. This wine was neither fined, nor filtered..
The Willamette Valley is typically one of the coolest and wettest major wine growing regions in the U.S, which clearly favors the delicate, but seemingly boundless potential of the Pinot Noir grape that seems to show its best on the fringes of suitable farming. While 2014 was not a cool and wet year, it was one of those extremely rare vintages where we experienced enough warmth throughout the season, as well as harvest time dry weather to bring in really amazing high quality grapes at the optimal moment!
This was our fourth wonderful year working with Gamay at one of our favorite sustainably farmed (LIVE Certified) vineyards, Methven Family Vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills. This was the first year we had enough Gamay to split the fer- ment into two lots—one that was destemmed and followed the more traditional fermentation path and the other that was mostly whole cluster and fermented semi-carbonic. The ferments were inoculated with a pied de cuve build up (early harvest grapes) used with the hopes of harnessing the native yeasts on the site. Both ferments were very different, but the carbonic one seemed to be a bit more “traditional” in taste and feel than in some years past, perhaps because of the riper vintage.
Again, this vineyard has provided fruit that we believe is worthy of truly “Cru” level Gamay that will very likely age for years to come. The 2014 Gamay Noir “Cru” Methven Family Vineyards does not show much carbonic influence and is definitely more mineral and savory dominated in aromatics and palate then the past two years. The initial aromatics are ground wet rock, similar to granite, the Gamay funk, ripe raspberries and some floral notes. The texture is a bit richer and with a bit more tannin than many Beaujolais Gamays we’ve drank, but it’s distinctively Gamay and has the dense minerality to carry on the palate. There’s only about 80 or so cases of this wine, so be sure to grab a bottle quick if you’re a fan of the legendary Beaujolais varietal!