2015 Division Chardonnay "Deux"
2015 Division Chardonnay “Deux” Stangeland Vineyard
Eola-Amity Hills AVA
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 grape farming areas. The 2015 growing year proved to be the driest and hottest on record in the Pacific Northwest - a benchmark we can’t help but attribute to our changing global climate. Thankfully, the hottest year ever in Oregon is still well within the boundaries of growing world class Chardonnay, especially for old vines such as those at Stangeland Vineyard. It simply (and not so simply) meant we needed to rethink some of our farming and winemaking practices to adjust for the vintage.
We have been very fortunate to work with some of the best Chardonnay sites in the
Willamette Valley, and were ecstatic this year when our friend Larry Miller agreed to split his old vine Draper selection Chardonnay with us again. Larry planted Stangeland (his Swedish family name) Vineyards in 1977-1978 at his 7-acre family property located in the heart of the Eola-Amity Hills. He sold the fruit from the vineyard, at least the fruit he was able to get, which wasn’t much, until 1986 when he began using all of the estate vineyard grapes for the Stangeland brand. We became friends with Larry while working out of Methven and finally convinced him over a few years (and several bottles) that it would be an honor and lots of fun for us to be the only other winemakers to with his fruit.
The 2015 vintage was a challenge for some white varietals, especially due to the very hot and dry conditions. Thankfully, and despite showing clear signs of slowdown due to Phylloxera infection, Larry’s old vines performed quite well and gave a nice yield. The grapes were both vibrant, delicious, ripe and in perfect health! Our success with making a single vineyard Chardonnay from Stangeland from the 2014 vintage left us anxious to repeat and hopefully even surpass the prior vintage.
We utilized a pied de cuve fermentation, which is created using a small amount of the site’s grapes to build a strong yeast population from the native flora. This was then added to the settled juice shortly after pressing. The fermentation was long and cool in three French oak Burgundy barrels (one new and two neutral). Minimal lees stirring was performed, and as is typical with cool fermentations, the Stangeland barrels took plenty of time to finish their primary fermentation in February of 2016. The wine completed malolactic fermentation and aged in the in the barrels for 10 months.
The 2015 Division Chardonnay “Deux” Stangeland Vineyard is a truly compelling wine and easily our most complex and age worthy white from 2015. The aromatics are distinctively mineral, almost flinty, with fresh quince and a hint of honeysuckle. The palate is bright, with perfect Old World style Chardonnay weigh and depth, layered with lemon cream and fresh orchard notes. Due to Phylloxera infection, we know this will likely be the last year we will get much off of the old vines, so take advantage and stock up on this stunner!
Alc - 12.4%, pH 3.20, 50 cases