2019 Division Pinot Noir "Un"
Willamette Valley AVA
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The Willamette Valley is typically one of the coolest and wettest major wine growing regions in the U.S, which clearly favors the delicate, but seemingly boundless potential of the Pinot Noir grape - a variety that seems to show its best on the fringes of suitable grape farming areas. The 2019 vintage was beautifully reminiscent of the classic vintages of northern Europe. After a
relatively cool and humid summer by Oregon standards, some nice dry weather came in time for veraison with mild to cool temperatures during the day and cool to cold at nights. This extended the growing season well into October, making even us cool climate lovers bite our nails wondering if we would reach optimal ripeness! We did, and are so happy with the results across the board!
As in years past, we approach the multiple vineyard Division Pinot Noir “Un” cuvée as our opportunity to make a vintage character wine in our lighter, finesse driven style. It is a Willamette Valley cuvée wine designed to perform well above its price point. In other words, it’s our chance to make our favorite blend from our nearly 80 Pinot Noir barrels from some of the
most sought after and high performing Willamette Valley vineyards.
Our vineyard roster in 2019 was very similar to the last few vintages and features the growing presence of the highly character driven and Biodynamically farmed Johan Vineyards and our young but hugely promising vines from Cassin Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA near the Coastal Range (a site which we are now considering similar to an “estate vineayard” for us as we have a long term lease of the whole vineyard and are planning new fun plantings in upcoming years).
Our Pinot Noir vineyards are farmed with a focus on sustainability, and our mission to work with only organically and/or Biodynamically farmed and 100% free of herbicides sites is a point of great importance to us - with all but one vineyard in this bottling being so . Our oldest vines and first site, the Eola Springs Vineyard has completed its multiyear transition to Biodynamic and organic principled farming while still being treated conventionally for Phylloxera (there’s no organic treatment) in the old vines.
All the separate Pinot lots were fermented either spontaneously or via a pied de cuve (vineyard native yeast cultivation) build up. We utilized varying techniques, including a significant portions of whole cluster in some of the Cassin, Bjornson, Eola-Springs and Armstrong ferments and an all whole cluster carbonic fermentation with one each of the Johan and Cassin ferments - aiming to diversify the styles and texture of the juice and provide more spice, nuance and nerve in the wine. The Old World dynamics of
2019 were as perfect as we’ve seen and in play with out winemaking style shines through in this bottling.
We aged the wine in French oak and a small amount of Austrian Oak, approximately 15% in new barrels and puncheons, for 9 months before being racked to concrete tanks for about one month before bottling. We made only two very small sulfite additions during the Spring and again just before bottling.
The aromatics are savory and significant while ethereal at the same time. A deep spicy earthy undertone in the nose of the wine features ripe strawberries, cherries and dark earth tones. The palate is lithe and unique with a balance of fresh herbs, wild berry concentration and mid-palate minerality—it really delivers for a base level Pinot. Drink up now or wait a few months, years, etc., but don’t miss this one!
Johan Vineyards - Van Duzer (29%), Eola Springs Vineyard - Eola Amity Hills (15%), Cassin Vineyard - Yamhill Carlton AVA (24%), Bjornson Vineyard - Eola Amity Hills AVA (17%), Armstrong Vineyard - Ribbon Ridge (10%), Temperance Hill Vineyard - Eola Amity Hills AVA (5%)
Alc 13.6% // pH 3.65 // 1,238 cases produced