2017 Division Gamay Noir "Renardiere"
2017 Division Gamay Noir “Renardière”
Redford Wetle Vineyard 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 affect 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 anyways. After an ideal 2016 growing season and vintage that pretty much rode 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 wildfires, 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. Myron Redford is as great a legend in Oregon’s wine industry as they come. He founded Amity Vineyards back in mid-1970s as a part of a group of pioneering young wine entrepreneurs that were building the start of the Oregon wine industry, including the likes of David & Diana Lett, the Casteel & Dudley families, Pat & Joe Campbell and David Adelsheim. Myron and his partner Vikki Wetle planted a small 7.5 acre certified organic vineyard on Jory, Yamhill & Woodburn soils at their home property in the Eola-Amity Hills in 2006, which includes the Gamay Noir we sourced for the third year of the “Renardière” cuvee. The name means “foxhole” in French, and was a term Myron liked to use when describing the difficulties of being an early Oregonian grape pioneer, consistently having to battle for a little attention and always two steps forward and a step back.
Once again, our single ferment of Gamay was a mix of 50/50 destemmed to whole cluster with the fermentation kicked off with our now favorite approach of a pied de cuve build up (early harvest grapes) used with the hopes of harnessing the native yeasts on the site. The 2017 Division Gamay Noir “Renardière” debuts with a complex harmony of holiday spices and ripe strawberries layered over a wet rock like minerality. The wine has perfect Gamay weight that focuses mineral and texture over power and concentration, just like we look for in our favorite Gamays we drink from the Beaujolais. The palate is medium weight with an almost savory strawberry like core that focuses on herbs and spices over a silky texture that lingers well after the sip.
Alc - 12.4%, pH 3.39, 50 cases produced