2015 Division Pinot Noir "Deux"
2015 Division Pinot Noir "Deux" Eola Springs 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 Pinot Noir, it just meant we needed to rethink some of our farming and winemaking practices to adjust for the climate.
We welcomed back Eola-Springs Vineyard after a two-year hiatus while the former
owners managed the sale of their vineyard. Eola-Springs is a very special vineyard for
us, in fact, it was the first vineyard we worked with after establishing Division as a
commercial winery back in the incredible 2010 vintage, and was also the featured
single vineyard in our first ever Pinot Noir “Deux.” What really makes Eola Springs special to us is not just its place in our history, but its place in the Willamette Valley’s wine growing history. Eola Springs was originally planted during 1972 to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Muscat. The Cab Sauv is long gone, but the 1972 Block of Pinot Noir is plays a prominent role in our 2015 Pinot Noir “Deux.” The site features the region’s classic volcanic basalt bedrock, but is overlaid with some of the most dense marine sedimentary (high calcium eroded oyster shells and mollusks) soils in the Eola-Amity Hills - a truly complex mix that give the site its distinct briny character perceived in the wines.
The Eola-Springs Pinot Noir was fermented with a pied de cuve (native yeast) build up, which was then added to the cold soaking grapes after day three. We utilized nearly 50% whole cluster grapes in this ferment, which lasted approximately 20 days. We aged the wine for 10 months in two neutral French Oak barrels and one puncheon (500L), with final blend sitting at approximately 33% in new oak and the rest in neutral oak. Our view our job in the cellar is to resist the temptations to do too much and really let our great and varied terrior do the work. Hence, after the wine has aged without interference from us, and was bottled unfined and unfiltered with only a small sulfur addition.
Not only are we ecstatic to have the Eola Springs Vineyard back as the Pinot Noir “Deux” wine, we also couldn’t be happier with the resulting wine. The intense heat of the vintage was greatly moderated by the old vines, who’s roots at 40 feet + down don’t seem to notice much of what’s happening on the surface! While many younger sites were producing some pretty high alcohol Pinot in 2015, our Pinot “Deux” was quite restrained at 13.6% with great finesse, textural precision and classic Oregon Pinot Noir character. The wine has a dense fruit aromatics that lends itself to dark cherry tones with a sliver of iron, but lots of freshness balanced with and the light kiss of fine oak. The palate is open and giving, anchored by jammy raspberry and cherry, a little ginger bread, fresh thyme and an earthy complex that we attribute to the use of whole cluster fermentation. We expect the medium bodied wine to keep integrating and shedding glycerin (baby fat) weight as it matures over the next few years, but are really happy drinking it right now, so no need to wait to enjoy!
Alc 13.6%, 80 cases produced