2018 Division Pinot Noir Rosé
Willamette Valley AVA
This is the wine that started Division Winemaking Co. a mere 50 cases of the 2010 Rosé of Pinot Noir, which we have always made from the Willamette Valley and continue the tradition year after year. Methven Family Vineyards is set in Amity section of Eola-Amity Hills and has provided a significant portion of the Pinot rosé since 2011. The vines were planted in 2001 on soils formed from volcanic remnants, a clay and broken rock soil locally called Nekia, and marine sedimentary overlay against basalt bedrock. Not too far away in the far Western edges of the Yamhill Carlton AVA is the young vines at out new Cassin Vineyard. Cassin is a cooler and wetter vineyard that’s near the coastal mountains and is relatively high in elevation. The site features sedimentary soils that are bit lower in clay and higher in calcium than the volcanic iron rich soils.
We believe the best wines are made by picking before overly ripe characteristics dominate the wine and balance and finesse suffer. Therefore, especially with rosé which we seek more white wine-like vibrancy than red wine-like richness or intensity. To achieve this profile, we crop and keep the canopy managed in a way to provide a lot of shading to slow sugar production, while keeping acidity high.
Like in the past few years, most of the harvest was direct pressed into a stainless tank, with some being pressed by foot into neutral French oak. The foot pressed portion, now per our annual tradition, was about 25% of the total wine and adds considerable depth, texture and complexity to the Pinot Noir rosé.
For the fermentation, we created a pied de cuve (early native ferment) with a small amount of the Bethany grapes to build a strong yeast population from the native flora, which was added after settling into one stainless 1900L temperature controlled tank. The stainless tank began fermenting very quickly and we kept it on the cooling jacked at 17 C , with the ferment lasting until mid December. The French oak barrel portion of the rosé fermented considerably slower in the cool barrel room and finished in mid January. We allowed the tank and barrels to fully finish the malolactic fermentation, as the wines had enough acidity not to warrant the rather invasive options for halting the malolactic transition.
This year’s Pinot rosé is as fresh, crisp, and perfectly suited to a spring day as one could wish. The nose offers notes of ripening blackberry, sweet tart sweetness balanced by bright, tangy red fruit. The finish is earthy and long with a touch of floral potpourri.