2016 Division Pinot Noir "Cinq"
2016 Division Pinot Noir "Cinq"
Ribbon Ridge 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 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 Pinot Noir, and we couldn’t be more excited! We know that the Pacific Northwest and world around us are changing due to global warming, which will inevitably affect 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!
Armstrong Vineyard is a relatively young vineyard in the youngest, but quickly becoming famous, Willamette Valley AVA called the Ribbon Ridge. They began in 2007, but the site happens to be situated next some of Oregon’s most highly acclaimed & coveted vineyards. We are thrilled for our third 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 southeast facing aspect are showing early potential to turn Armstrong into another top vineyard like its more famous neighbors.
Our previous experience in the Ribbon Ridge has shown us 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 bet- ter develop complex flavors. The harvest was split into two picking days, with the Dijon 667 and harvest- ed first and the Pommard several days 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 ferment was mostly whole cluster and the Pommard mostly destemmed 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.
The “Cinq” cuvee was aged in all French Oak, one new barrel and one neutral for 10 months, without any racking. We love the way the oak is integrating with the wine’s sweet & savory characteristics.
The Armstrong grapes offer a different a more structured profile from our other single site Pinots, which hale from more volcanic clay based soils of the Eola-Amity Hills. Armstrong demonstrates deep, brood- ing kirsch fruit alongside spice tones reminiscent of sandalwood and clove-y orange. The fruit lends itself to the dark red spectrum, and we are particularly delighted this year by the wine’s mushroom-y earthiness. The “Cinq” is our must structured Pinot Noir and should cellar well for the next 5 to10 years.
Vineyards - Armstrong Vineyard (LIVE Certified and organically farmed) Alc - 13.7%, pH 3.79, 50 cases