2020 Division-Villages "Béton"
American Red Blend
Cabernet Franc (46%), Gamay Noir (13%), Pinot Noir (11%) ,Côt (22%) & Cabernet Sauvignon (8%)
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. The wines we enjoyed many years ago while training in France were the inspiration for the Béton cuvée. We attribute the success of our red blend, now in it’s ninth 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. The heart of this wine will always hale from the experiences we felt from the wines of the Loire, but we look at the Pacific Northwest more broadly as our palate to draw inspiration and the grapes that make this wine so unique each vintage.
The Applegate Valley AVA in southern Oregon is our favorite place in Oregon for Loire inspired grapes with its unique granitic bedrock and microclimate, which is warmer and drier than the Willamette Valley, but cooler and wetter than the greater Rogue Valley to the east. Oher components for the Béton come from the Willamette Valley and Columbia Valley, both of which have unique and dynamic soils and climates that few places on Earth can rival.
The 2020 vintage created some unique challenges for the entire West Coast, most notably the wildfires that plagued parts of Oregon and California. Thankfully, our vineyards in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley were mostly spared from the fires and experienced mostly only high level haze. However, poor yields across these regions were the norm in 2020 due to poor fruit set during the flowering in June. The resultant small fruit crop had extremely high quality, but we unfortunately were 30% off of average yields, so our wine production is down considerably for 2020.
With the winemaking for the “Béton,” we independently fermented most of the components, including several carbonic and semi-carbonic fermentations, as well as more traditional destemmed ferments, As in years past, the anchor of Cabernet Franc from the Applegate Valley is the starting and focal point of this wine. This allows us to create a balance between the fruity carbonic wine and more nuanced and finessed traditional fermented wine.
For all the lots but one, we utilized spontaneous natural fermentation or a pied de cuve buildup from the native flora in each vineyard. We did use a commercial yeast for a single lot of the Pinot Noir due to higher risks from the wildfires near that vineyard, which was partially included in this wine. Each of the ferments went smoothly, but skin times were reduced due to the unknowns of smoke impact from certain sites. Per the name of this of this Loire-ish styled red, most of the parts were blended post pressing and aged in concrete (AKA Béton), including our 975 gallon concrete tank, affectionately named “Big Bertha” with some smaller components aged in large format barrels.
The 2020 Béton truly is a triumphant medium bodied wine in an otherwise very difficult year. Deliciously peppery and fruit laden, this highly quaffable wine is perfect as always for a grill out, or to sip at a party with friends and family. The aromatics are clearly Cabernet Franc with violet floral overtones, graphite and ripe red raspberry. The pallet is juicy, clean, fruity, but balanced with Cab Franc notes of peppers, ripe berries and exotic spices. We love the elegance and focus the earthy, mineral notes, contrasting with the red berry fruits for this very tasty vintage!
Alc 13%, 700 cases produced