2016 Division Pinot Noir "Un"
2016 Division Pinot Noir "Un"
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 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 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!
As in years past, we approach the Division Pinot Noir “Un” cuvee, our only Division pinot noir featuring multiple pinot noir sites, as our opportunity to make a vintage character wine in our lighter finesse driven style that is a comprehensive look at all of our very fine Eola-Amity Hills dominated Willamette Valley wine. In other words, it’s our chance to make our favorite blend from our nearly 50 Pinot Noir barrels and puncheons. Our vineyard roster in 2016 is clearly the best we’ve ever had and the wines and especially our flagship Pinot Noir “Un” cuvee are reflective of that. We are pleased to announced a long term lease agreement with two blocks of our very first vineyard, Eola Springs Vineyard, that we believe to be one of the best vineyards for Pinot Noir anywhere in the U.S. - it’s also the star of our Pinot Noir “Deux” wine. We continue to be very proud that all of our Pinot Noir vineyards are sustainably farmed and nearly 75% of the grapes for the Pinot Noir “Un” cuvee are farmed organically and/or Biodynamically. The Eola Springs vineyard continues its transition to Biodynamic principled farming while still being treated for Phylloxera in the old vines and we look forward to the day when we can that all of our grapes are at the very least, organically farmed.
All lots were fermented either spontaneously or via a pied de cuve (vineyard native yeast cultivation) build up. We utilized varying techniques, including a significant portions of whole cluster in some of the Bjornson & Armstrong ferments and one all whole cluster carbonic fermentation with one of the Johan ferments to diversify the wine types and provide more spice, nuance and nerve in the wine. The flavors and grape quality from 2016 were simply the best we’ve seen and our significant experience working with minimal manipulation techniques in the cellar truly shines through in this year’s wine.
We aged the wine in mostly French oak and a small amount of Austrian Oak, with approximately 15% in new barrels and puncheons, for 10 months without any racking before bottling. For the first time ever, we made only one sulfite addition, made just before bottling. Back in 2014, we believed we made our best Pinot Noir “Un” cuvee to date, and at the time, it was our best to date and very well received. That said, the 2016 is simply better and while we are done with saying the word “best,” we’re highly confident you will agree on this wine. The aromatics are dense and airy at the same time, with deep earthy spices, raspberry and an almost pencil lead notes. The palate is full, but not heavy, with a serious amount of length for a base level Pinot. It’s dominated by wild/brambly raspberry flavors and dark mineral layers. Drink up now or wait a few months, years, etc., but don’t miss this one!
Alc 13.6%, pH 3.72, 791 cases produced