2017 Division Gamay Noir "Cru"
Eola-Amity Hills AVA
2017 did not disappoint when it came to Pacific Northwest weather drama! It is certainly clear that our region, and the world around us, is changing due to manmade global climate change, which will invariably effect the way we farm and even what we farm in the Willamette Valley for decades to come. As with the hot years, the cold years, the dry years and the rainy years, it feels as if we’ve seen it all around here now...well most of it any- ways. After an easy 2016 growing season and vintage that pretty much rode the right along the region’s historical averages, in 2017 we returned to the more variable season wine growers in Oregon are most accustomed to.
Cold streaks, rainstorms, drought, heat waves, and wild fires, oh my! While keeping us on our toes at times, especially the wild fires, we persevered right on into late September for what turned out to be a truly graceful, yet powerful vintage for Gamay Noir in the Willamette Valley.
Gamay has always been a favorite grape for us and Methven Family Vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills provided us with our first opportunity in 2011 to produce a wine from Oregon Gamay grapes. Today, nearly nine years later, it’s still our largest and most important Gamay vineyard in Oregon and we believe our long experience with Methven makes our Gamay “Cru” among our best Gamay wines.
We split the grapes from Methven into three separate fermentation lots, one that was 50% destemmed (the traditional Burgundian method), one was 100% whole-cluster carbonic in a closed top stainless vat (the traditional Beaujolais method) and the last was semi-carbonic in an open top fermenter. Two of the lots were fermented with a pied de cuve build up (vineyard native yeast cultivation) and one was started by another Pinot Noir ferment. The wines were aged in neutral French oak barrels for 10 months.
The 2017 Gamay “Cru” is classic Gamay and delicious. The Methven vineyard consistently demonstrates a strong terroir character of dark rock, like along the banks of a rocky stream and peppery strawberries - this year was no different. The 2017 Gamay Noirs were picked later than in previous years, and finished with low alcohol levels, giving a bright, lively, lighter colored Gamay with abundant old world charm mingling with Oregonian friendliness.
Alc - 12.6%
75 cases produced