2016 DV "Les Petits Fers"
2016 Division-Villages “Les Petits Fers” Gamay Noir
Methven Family Vineyard (30%), Bjornson Vineyard (30%), Redford-Wetle Vineyard (20%), Rebecca’s Vineyard (20%)
The Gamay Noir grape, which hails from the Beaujolais region and also flourishes in the Loire Valley, is witnessing a rapid popularization in growth in the U.S. over recent years. A fact that that makes us very happy!
The majority of our “Les Petits Fers” Gamay comes from three vineyards in the Eola- Amity hills, a part of the Willamette Valley, an area known as typically one of the cool- est and wettest major wine growing regions in the U.S. The mix of soils is mostly vol- canic clay with some marine sedimentary overlay, especially at the lower elevations. The balance of this cuvee comes from Rebecca’s Vineyard, a volcanic clay site that bor- ders on cold for growing grapes in some years, but old own rooted vines have proven to grow excellent and unique Gamay that we have come to really appreciate. Rebec- ca’s is located in a lesser know area of Oregon, 100 miles to the south in the northern coastal slopes near Eugene, named after the area’s primary river, the Umpqua AVA. Both these AVAs share some commonalities that make them excellent for growing Gamay, including the proximity to the Van Duzer corridor which pulls in cool coastal air at night time to help drop the temperature to better retain acidity, as well as great exposure to the warmth in the afternoons for ripening.
We fell hard for the carbonic maceration fermentation technique while learning about and making wine in the Beaujolais region and began experimenting with the technique with multiple varietals during our first few vintages in Oregon. Carbonic Maceration involves fermenting the wines fully on the stems in a closed vessel that is initially inundated with carbon dioxide that macerates the grape skins by mostly us- ing the co2 to enzymatically extract color, phenolics and flavors. We utilize this traditional Beaujolais technique for much of the “Les Petits Fers” Gamay Noir, including a fully carbonic ferment with one of the Methven blocks and partial carbonic ferment for the Redford-Wetle & Bjornson sites. Only Rebecca’s Vineyard was fermented without the stems as a more traditional red fermentation involving pulverization and recirculation. This allowed us to create a balance between the fruity carbonic wine with nuanced and vibrant traditional wine. For all of the lots, we utilized a pied de cuve fermentation, which is created using a small amount of each site’s grapes to build a strong yeast population from the native flora. The build up is then added a few days after the carbon dioxide enrichment for the Methven, Redford-Wetle, and Bjorn- son grapes and after three days of cold soaking for the Rebecca’s grapes. Each of the ferments were relatively lengthy and lasted about 25 - 35 days on the skins, with the wines being pressed off in mid to late October for ageing in both a stainless steel tank and one puncheon (500L) French oak barrel.
The 2016 “Les Petits Fers” Gamay Noir is complex, vibrant and definitely our most “Beaujolais-esque” in style, with the new sites clearly adding layers to makeup of the wine, along with our utilizing more car- bonic fermentation this vintage. This wine is demonstrates classic Gamay sensibilities, with intense strawberries and raspberries, black pepper, a distinct carbonic texture, and rose petals on nose. The palate is mineral rich and intense in mixed berries, with exotic spiced tea notes and plenty of structure and cheer. While always designed to be a drink earlier wine, the acid structure from the 2016 wine will likely mean this year’s “Les Petits Fers” has a long life ahead of it.
Alc 13.3%, 280 cases produced