2017 Division Pinot Noir "Deux"
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, are changing due to man-made global climate change which will inevitably 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...well most of it anyways. After an easy 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 us wine growers in Oregon are well 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 Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley.
Last year, we were pleased to announce a long term lease agreement with two blocks of our very first vineyard, Eola Springs, which we believe to be one of the best vineyards for Pinot Noir anywhere in the U.S - it continues to be the star of our Pinot Noir “Deux”. What makes Eola Springs special to us is not just its place in our history, but its place in the Willamette Valley’s wine growing history.
Eola Springs was originally planted in 1972 with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Muscat. The Cab Sauv is long gone, while the Farmhouse block planted between 1980 and 1990 on its own roots makes up our 2017 Pinot Noir “Deux.” The site features the region’s classic volcanic basalt bedrock, but is overlaid with some of the most dense marine sedimentary (high calcium eroded oyster shells and mollusks) soils in the Eola-Amity Hills - a truly complex mix that gives the wines from this site their distinct briny and mineral character.
The Eola Springs Farmhouse Blocks of Pommard and Wadensvil clones Pinot Noir were split into three fermentations utilizing a pied de cuve (vineyard native yeast cultivation) build up. The ferments varied between 33%-66% whole cluster and we managed each one either with pigeage (foot pressing), pump- over or punchdown. The wine lots were aged for 10 months in French oak barrels and puncheons (500L), with approximately 25% in new oak and the rest in neutral oak. Our job in the cellar is to resist the temptations to do too much and really let our great and varied terroir do the work. Hence, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered with only a small sulfur addition made about month before bottling.
There are many striking things about our 2017 Pinot Noir “Deux”, but perhaps most striking is the wine’s complex salinity (result of terroir) and incredible length on the palate (result of old vines). Aromatically, the wine made us think of boysenberries smashed in briny sand and crushed shells. On the palate, we were blown away by its weighty, glycerol mouth-feel. We expect this medium bodied wine to be a fine ager indeed, while still delivering a very pleasant youthful wine for your glass!
220 cases produced