2018 Division Chardonnay "Trois"
Van Duzer AVA
In our opinion, you could not have asked for a better growing season than during the 2018 vintage. In July and early August, a long stretch of dry and hot weather helped the vines grow, but the heat wave broke right before véraison, giving the grapes milder daytime temperatures and cool nights to promote flavor development and preserve the bright acidity that we love. Rainfall was also ideal, where there was enough hydration to keep these dry-farmed vines hydrated without sacrificing concentration. That weather held through harvest, and as a result of this and excellent Biodynamic farming, the fruit at Johan was the best we’ve seen yet.
The 2018 vintage was the first year that we were able to harvest from our grafted over Draper Selection Chardonnay vines at Johan Vineyard. The Draper Selection cuttings are famed to have been “suit cased” back from Meursault (Burgundy) in the early 1960s. David Lett brought them to Oregon and we were able to take the cuttings from our other Draper block at Stangland Vineyard after the last year of that block before succumbing to Phylloxera in 2016.
We are truly blown away with this wine, our third vintage, of single vineyard Chardonnay from Johan Vineyards near the coastal range in the Willamette Valley. After several years of working with our favorite Biodynamic site, the 2018 vintage seemed to just “click” perfectly for allowing us to produce a wine truly worthy to stand on its on. The unique Johan site lays on marine sedimentary, Helvetia, silty loam, and even some rare broken granite soils that are moderately well drained and have consistently influenced our wines in a truly “terroir” driven sense.
Like our other wines, we utilized the pied de cuve (vineyard native yeast cultivation) build up, a technique that we now use for nearly all of our ferments. The method resulted in a gorgeously complex final wine that was slow and steady to complete primary fermentation by January of 2019. We have shifted more of our Chardonnay fermentations to puncheon sized barrels (500 liters), as they better protect the wine from oxidation and don’t impact the wine as much with “oaky” flavors. For the Johan Draper and Dijon 95 blocks where this wine came from, we chose one new French oak puncheon and two neutral Burgundy barrels (228 liters). We sulfured our 2018 Chardonnay Trois twice: one small addition in March, and one small addition just before bottling.
The 2018 Chardonnay “Trois” Johan Vineyards is mineral-forward style of Chardonnay, which we absolutely love. The aromatics are savory and spicy, with fresh peach skin, match stick, allspice and cardamom, and the ever-present saline notes we typically notice in our Johan Chardonnays. The palate is electric and shows notes of fleshy stone fruits with brown spices. We believe the wine will develop gloriously in the cellar, and is among our most age-worthy Chardonnays to date.
Alc - 12.8%