2016 Division Chardonnay "Trois"
2016 Division Chardonnay “Trois” Johan Vineyard
Willamette Valley AVA
A return to cool climate greatness! After two uncharacteristically and record setting consecutively hot and dry years that began during the summer of 2014, the hot and dry spell finally relented in the late spring of 2016. Yes, the warm 2015/2016 winter meant an early start to the 2016 season in March, but the key months from flowering to harvest were nearly textbook perfect conditions for growing world class Chardonnay, and we couldn’t be more excited! We know that the Pacific Northwest and world around us is changing due to global climate heating, which will invariably effect the way we farm and even what we farm in the Willamette Valley for decades to come, but we’re more than pleased for a vintage like 2016 and believe you will be too!
We are thrilled with our debut single vineyard Chardonnay offering from Johan Vineyards near the coastal range in the Willamette Valley. We’ve been working with our favorite Biodynamic site for several years now and the vintage was just perfect for allowing us to produce a wine truly worthy to stand on its on. The truly unique Johan site lays on marine sedimentary , Helvetia, silty loam, and
even some rare broken granite soils that are moderately well drained and have consistently influenced our wines in a truly “terroir” driven sense. The 2016 Chardonnay grapes were both dense and flavorful, but still nervy and vibrant at the core, with just a small amount of mildew spotting that we’ve seen typically at the wet Johan site.
Like our other wines, we utilized the pied de cuve (vineyard native yeast cultivation) build up, a technique that we had been using for some of the red ferments and now use for nearly all of our ferments. The method resulted in a gorgeously complex final wine that did not struggle to complete primary fermentation. The barrel fermentations were long and cool in several neutral and one new French oak Burgundy barrels. As is typical with cool in barrel fermentations, they take a while, but in 2016, we were surprised to find everything that finished primary fermentation by March of 2017. The wines completed the secondary malolactic fermentation by late spring of 2017 and for the first time ever for us, we were able to avoid sulfite additions to all Johan Chardonnay barrels until just before bottling - something we think dramatically increased the complexity of this wine.
The 2016 Chardonnay “Trois” Johan Vineyards is a fantastic new entrant for us that features a more acid driven and mineral forward style that we prefer from Chardonnay. The aromatics are a nice balance of Chamomile, Anjou pear, as well as fragrant almond flowers and the ever present saline notes we typically notice in our Chardonnay. The palate is electric with clear fresh pear, marzipan and strong stone like mineral characteristics. The 2016 Division Chardonnay “Trois” is light to medium weight and very balanced with solid acidity and good phenolic flavor depth. We are very pleased our new wine and believe the wine is drinking well now, but should really start singing during the next few years!
Alc - 13.0%, pH 3.38, 50 cases