2015 Division Pinot Noir 'Quatre'
2015 Division Pinot Noir "Quatre"
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 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 warming climate.
The Bjornson Vineyard is a relatively young vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills, with planting beginning in 2006, but it happens to be situated next some of Oregon’s most highly acclaimed & coveted vineyards. We were ecstatic to get a shot at making wines from these vines planted on 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!
Coming into our second year working with the Bjornson Vineyard, we were prepared with some good ideas of what we thought would work well for the clones we had brought in the year prior, our favorite combo of the elegant and red fruit oriented Dijon 777 and the earthy and rustic Pommard clones. To experiment, though, we added a new element to this year, the Dijon Clone 4407. This clone has supposedly been sourced from the slopes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Grand Cru vineyards. We’re not really sure about that, but we certainly like the way it played with our other blocks in the vineyard! The co-fermented lot was kicked off by utilizing a pied de cuve build up from the native flora on the site picked a week for before harvesting the blocks. We once again integrated some a portion of whole cluster, about 30%, which was layered in the ferment like a cake to help add more savory and floral aspects against the hot vintage’s fruitiness. We picked over two separate days, about four days apart, in hopes of harvesting at the perfect harmony of ripeness and balanced acidity. Like the year before, we nailed it at the Bjornson site with the chemistry coming in spot on!
The 2015 Pinot Noir “Quatre” Bjornson Vineyard is our first single vineyard release of the vintage! While we knew we had something great on our hands, we are very pleased by how approachable, yet complex the wine is in its youth - likely due to it’s young vine nature. This very small “Quatre” cuvee was aged in French Oak; one single one-year old barrel and one neutral for 10 months, without any racking. The wine is minerally intense, layering in boysenberry and mushrooms. The fruit lends itself to the blue spectrum and the palate is already demonstrating really nice textural weight and well resolved tannins. Drink some now, but make sure to put a few bottles away, this one will age for a while!
Alc - 13.3%, pH 3.54, 50 cases