2020 Division-Villages "l'Avoiron"
Columbia Valley AVA
One of the fastest growing and diverse American wine growing regions of the past 40 years is the Columbia Valley, a wide swath of land that reaches from the northern border of Oregon to well into the northeastern parts of Washington State. Within this region is a is the Yakima Valley, which is home to our nearly 6- acre block of Gamay Noir at the newly renamed Carousel Vineyard (formally part of Willard Farms), which we farm exclusively to make our Gamay Rosé and Gamay Nouveau wines. We began to transition this vineyard to organic principle farming in 2019 and hope to have the process complete by the 2021 growing season, We love this particular site for its mineral intense soils formed from volcanic Miocene uplift against basalt bedrock that is layered with a primary topsoil being made up of quartz and lime- silica, overlaid with the mixed glacial runoff of Missoula floods that makes the region so dynamic, unique, and in this case, perfect for making crisp and focused rosé!
We believe the best rosé wines will be made by picking before overly ripe characteristics can dominate the balance and finesse of the wine. Therefore, we seek a more white wine-like vibrancy than red wine-like richness or intensity, and we typically pick this site relatively early with more acid driven grapes and lighter red fruit.
The 2020 vintage created some unique challenges for the entire West Coast, most notably the wildfires that plagued Oregon and California. Thankfully, Carousel Vineyard and the Columbia Valley was spared from the fires and experienced mostly only high level haze. However, poor yields, like Oregon, were the norm in the Columbia Valley too from a poor fruit set during the flowering June. The resultant small fruit crop had extremely high quality, but we unfortunately were 40% off of average yields, so our wine production is down considerably for 2020.
Like the past several years, we destemmed all of the grapes and quickly pressed them into juice, which was settled for one day. For the fermentations, we separated the juice into two stainless fermentations and a few older barrels, held at different temperatures and fermented with spontaneous yeasts. Each of the fermented very well and finished without issues within 45 days. We were incredibly impressed with the early results and after a quick rack and return to the fermenting vessels, let the wine age for a few months before bottling in late February 2021.
The 2020 l’Avoiron really starts the new decade off on a tremendous foot! It’s a beautiful wine to look at in the glass with it’s pale rose and strawberry hue and the aromatics simply jump out of the glass. Warm summer Provencal days waft out with scent of concentrated cantaloupe and perfectly ripe strawberry leading the way. The palate is crisp, dense and mineral rich with strawberry and light summer herbs. The wine has excellent energy, with great density for a crisp pink wine, all the while remaining light on it’s feet. We truly wish we had more of this vintage, but alas, we will thoroughly enjoy the 2020 wine that will likely age well for a few years and is drinking splendidly right now!
Alc 12.5%, 575 cases produced