2018 Division Gamay Noir "Renardière"
Eola Amity Hills 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 vineyards hydrated without sacrificing concentration.
That weather held through harvest, and as a result the fruit was some of the best we’ve seen in years. 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 favorite approach of a pied de cuve build up (early harvest grapes) used with the hopes of harnessing the native yeasts on the site. We inundate the fermented vat with lots of carbon dioxide in the beginning of the ferment to allow for some carbonic maceration on the whole clusters, which is most common approach to Gamay fermentations in the Beaujolais region where Gamay hails from. The resultant lower tannin extraction with loads of savory fruit tones reminds of us of the best Gamays in the world.
The 2018 Division Gamay Noir “Renardière” features a complex richness of ripe strawberries and exotic spices layered over a wet rock like minerality. The wine has nervy acidity and more density, per the vintage, than some of our past Gamays, but the weight is focused and delivers texture over boldness. 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. This wine can seriously age!
Alc - 13.8% // pH 3.54 // 100 cases produced
Harvest date: 10/2/2018