2019 Division-Villages "Béton"
The Applegate Valley AVA in southern Oregon has become a favorite for us due to its unique granitic bedrock and microclimate - warmer and drier than the Willamette Valley, but cooler and wetter than the greater Rogue Valley to the east.
The Applegate has proved to us to be a perfect region for the Loire clones of Cabernet Franc we have come to love so much. Herb Quady is one of the best growers in the region, if not the state, who is doing all the right things for the terroir there, including organic farming techniques and very well thought out and judicious irrigation use. His own Quady North Vineyard and the Serra Vineyard, which he also helps farm, sit in the hills above the Applegate river. We anchor our Béton blend with Cabernet Franc from both of these vine-yards, as well as the Côt (AKA Loire Malbec) portion from the Serra Vineyard. The Gamay component comes from Methven Family Vineyard, in the Willamette Valley, as well as a the Pinot Noir from a rising star, Cassin Vine-yard, also in the Willamette Valley. New this year to the blend is a small amount of Syrah, also from Herb’s vineyard. that just seemed to take the final wine to 11 .
We love the Touraine rouge cuvée wines from the Loire that are typically served as bistro wines in Paris, and refer to them as inspiration for our “Béton” blend. We attribute the success of our red blend, now in it’s eighth vintage, to the desire of so many to have an intriguing and food friendly, yet never overly heavy or boozy red wine as a mainstay at the dinner table.
With the winemaking for the “Béton,” we independently fermented most of the components, including two carbonic fermentations (the Methven Gamay and one of the Cabernet Franc ferments in stainless) and three other fermentations with varying whole cluster components (Serra Cabernet Franc and Serra Côt, as well as the anchor Quady Eevee vineyard Cabernet Franc.) This allowed us to create a balance between the fruity carbonic wine and more nuanced and finessed traditional fermented wine.
For the all the lots, we utilized either spontaneous natural fermentation or a pied de cuve buildup from the native flora in each vineyard. Each of the ferments were normal in length this year and lasted about 20-25 days on the skins, with the wines being pressed off ranging from mid to late October. Per the name of this of this Loire-ish styled red, all of the parts were blended post pressing and aged in concrete (AKA Béton), including our 975 gallon concrete tank, affectionately named “Big Bertha.”
The 2019 Béton returns us to our days in France with a medium bodied and peppery quaffable wine, perfect for a grill out, or to sip at a party with friends and family—the wine is spry, but with plenty of depth and darkness. The aromatics scream Cabernet Franc with violet floral overtones, graphite and red currants. The pallet is juicy, clean, fruity, but balanced with Cab Franc notes of pepper and fall leaves, stewed pie cherries, nutmeg and clove. We love the elegance and focus the earthy, mineral notes, contrasting with the red berry fruits, and are truly ecstatic for this vintage!
Cabernet Franc (55%), Gamay Noir (16%), Pinot Noir (13%) ,Côt (11%) & Syrah (5%)
Quady North Vineyard Cabernet Franc & Syrah, Serra Vineyard Cabernet Franc & Côt, Methven Family Vineyards & Rebecca’s Vineyard Gamay Noir, & Cassin Vineyard Pinot Noir
950 cases produced