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2015 Division Pinot Noir "Trois"

2015 Division Pinot Noir
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2015 Division Pinot Noir "Trois"

Temperance Hill

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 climate.

First planted in 1980 on what is believed to be the remnants of an active volcano, this impeccably farmed Certified Organic vineyard is situated between 660 and 860 feet in elevation on Nekia, Jory and Rittner soils. The elevation aspect lead to warm and sunny days and very cool evenings, which helps the Pinot Noir from Temperance retain its legendary acidity while still demonstrating deep intensity and complete phenolic ripeness. Temperance Hill is farmed by Dai Crisp, one of the best viticulturists in Oregon, or in the U.S. for that matter, with care, vast knowledge and dedication - we are amazed by him. In other words, this is a seriously spectacular vineyard that we are honored to be making wine from.

Our .85 acre block at Temperance is the called the “Upper Bench”, which was planted in 2002 and is located near the crest of the original planting of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer. We went with a favorite combo of the elegant and red fruit oriented Dijon 777 anchored with the earthy and rustic Pommard clones. The co-fermented lot was fermented by utilizing a pied de cuve build up from the native flora on the site picked a week for before harvesting the blocks. A small portion of whole cluster, less than 25%, was layered in the ferment to help add more savory aspects as the warmer year tends to show for fruitiness. Our harvested grapes were beautiful and picked at the optimal moment for such a warm vintage at 23.7 brix and 3.31 pH with dark ripe phenolic flavors, lots of spice and soft skins.

We aged the three barrel blend for 10 months in a combination of a one new barrel and two neutral barrels and then for one year in bottle to help settle and harmonize the wine. Once again, and surely due in part to the intensely warm and dry growing season, our most intense, powerful and austere Pinot Noir. The initial aromatics are pure Temperance Pinot Noir, which is one of the maybe dozen Oregon sites with remarkably distinctive aromatics that feature deep black cherries, spices and fresh dried tobacco leaves. This ruby colored wine is all cherry and intense minerally meat on the palate that has soft coating tannins that fit perfectly with the textual components. This is definitely our most complex Pinot Noir from 2015 and a wine worth holding for a while to see what evolves!

Alc 13.9%, pH 3.65, 73 cases produced 

Click here for Tasting Notes in PDF.

Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley AVA
Alcohol %