2015 Division Gamay Noir "Renardière"
2015 Division Gamay Noir “Renardière” Redford Wetle Vineyard
Eola-Amity Hills AVA
The 2015 growing year proved to be the driest and hottest on record in the Pacific Northwest - a benchmark we can’t help but at least partially attribute to our changing global climate. But true to form, the mighty our Gamay Noir grapes showed great resilience to the weather, maintaining great acidity to balance it’s fruit and texture. This variety that originally hails from the Beaujolais region of France is such a treat to work with in the Willamette Valley. For winemakers like us, it’s been really nice to see its deliciousness gain in popularity in the US in recent years!
Myron Redford is as great a legend in Oregon’s wine industry as they come. He
founded Amity Vineyards back in mid-1970s as a part of a group of pioneering young
wine entrepreneurs that were building the start of the Oregon wine industry, includ-
ing the likes of David & Diana Lett, the Casteel & Dudley families, Pat & Joe Campbell
and David Adelsheim. While many of these names focused most of their energies on
Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, Myron was experimenting, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, with grapes like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and yes, one of our favorites, Gamay Noir. He sold the original Amity Vineyards, but wasn’t quite done wine grapes yet. He and his partner Vikki Wetle planted a small 7.5 acre certified organic vineyard on Jory, Yamhill & Woodburn soils at their home property in the Eola- Amity Hills in 2006, which includes the Gamay Noir we sourced for our “Renardière” debut. The name means “foxhole” in French, and was a term Myron liked to use when describing the difficulties of being an early Oregonian grape pioneer, consistently having to battle for a little attention and always two steps forward and a step back.
Our single ferment of Gamay was a mix of 50/50 destemmed to whole cluster with the fermentation kicked off with our now favorite approach of a pied de cuve build up (early harvest grapes) used with the hopes of harnessing the native yeasts on the site. This has been a very successful approach for us to avoid off fermentation dynamics and/or stuck ferments as the yeast cycle really lends to a very solid and expressive terroir driven wine.
The 2015 Division Gamay Noir “Renardière” debuts with a complex harmony of savory herbs and spices layered in delicate strawberries. The wine has a lighter extraction that focuses mineral and texture over power and concentration, just like we look for in the Gamays we drink. The palate is lighter with an almost briny like note that focuses on herbs and strawberries over a silky texture that lingers well after the sip. We made just one barrel (25 cases) of our first attempt off the Redford Wetle Vineyard vines and will preciously hold back some as we are truly impressed with the potential of this wine and this site.
Alc - 13.3%, pH 3.44, 25 cases produced