USA / Portland, Willamette ValleyAdd to my wine list
2020 Division Pinot Noir 'Un', Willamette Valley
Division Winemaking Co.
Portland, Willamette Valley
Juicy, yet savoury and taught minerality.
The 2020 vintage in the Willamette Valley was incredibly challenging in many ways, beyond the operating impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The growing season was nearly perfect with ample rainfall through most of June. What followed in and July was warm dry conditions, not atypical for the region. However, in early September, a strong hot and dry wind event that led to several wildfires kicking off in the nearby western Cascade foothills. The persistent East to West winds for nearly 10 days, which are atypical, led to both high and low level smoke pinballing back and forth from the coast trade winds through the valley. Our Gamay sites were fortunately spared the worst of the smoke impact, partially because they were less ripe than other varieties and didn’t absorb as much of the smoke compounds, but the wildfire event led to difficult harvesting conditions nonetheless.
We handled the fermentations for each of the Pinot Noir sites in 2020 with a greater level of care then in any past vintage due to the risk from the wildfires near the Willamette Valley. The most important decision we made from this year was to include all of our very best sites and fermentations in our main cuvee and not make single site wines. We still kept our main identity in the winemaking with higher amounts of whole clusters in the ferments, but we used untoasted oak chips to bind some related compounds, kept the ferments warm and swift to minimize negative phenolic extraction and aged the finished wines on 2019 lees. When we blended the lots in the early summer of 2020, a few months earlier than typical for us, we were very pleased with the overall quality of the wines.