2015 Division Pinot Noir "Cinq"
2015 Division Pinot Noir "Cinq"
Ribbon Ridge 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 farming. 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 Pinot Noir, it just meant we needed to rethink some of our farming and winemaking practices to adjust for the climate.
The Armstrong Vineyard is a relatively young vineyard in the youngest, but quickly becoming famous Willamette Valley AVA called the Ribbon Ridge. The began in 2007, but happens to be situated next some of Oregon’s most highly acclaimed & coveted vineyards. We are thrilled for our second year working with these soils formed from volcanic remnants, locally called Nekia soil, and marine sedimentary overlay against basalt bedrock. The site’s higher elevation and protected aspect facing mostly southeast is showing early potential of turning into another top vineyard like its more famous neighbors - for now that is!
Our previous experience in the Ribbon Ridge has provided us with experience that the grapes in this small appellation ripen more quickly than the other nearby Willamette Valley AVAs. Doug Ackerman’s thoughtful and detailed management of his organically farmed vines helped to slow vigor and lengthen the maturity time to better develop complex flavors. The harvest was split into two picking days, with the Dijon 667 and Wadensvil harvested first and the Pommard about a week later. Each lot was fermented separately utilizing a pied de cuve build up from the native flora on the site picked a week for before harvesting the blocks. The 667/Wadensvil co-ferment was mostly whole cluster and the Pommard mostly destermmed in order to achieve one ferment of softer and more earthy character (whole cluster) and the other more structured and dense. Our harvested grapes were beautiful, tasty and picked at an earlier time than some of sites, but perfect for our style of higher acidity and more freshness in the wines.
We were so thoroughly impressed with out first Armstrong single site wine in 2014 that we knew we were on to something with this unique site and would be continuing vineyard series in 2015. The “Cinq” cuvee, our 5th from the 2015 vintage, was aged in all French Oak, one new barrel and two neutral for 10 months, without any racking. The Armstrong pinot provides a very distinctive difference from our other single site Pinot Noir wines, which all come from the more volcanic clay based soils in the Eola Amity Hills as demonstrated by it’s deep brooding kirsch like fruit and spicy and earthy tones. The fruit lends itself to the dark red spectrum, especially cherries and the palate is full and dense with firm, yet modest tannins and has incredible balance. This is wine that has a fair amount of openness from the warm and ripe vintage, but should cellar well for the next five to ten years.
Vineyards - Armstrong Vineyard (LIVE Certified and organically farmed) Alc - 13.8%, pH 3.62, 75 cases