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2020 Division-Villages 'Méthode Carbonique' Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
Division Winemaking Co.
Portland, Willamette Valley
The aromatic profile of this wine is a mix of bright red fruits, roasted meats and spring herbs, like rosemary and thyme. The 'Méthode Carbonique' Pinot Noir is a lot of fun in the bottle, not overly complex, but perfectly suited for hangouts in the backyard on nice summer days. The strawberry, flinty and earthy quaffer is crying out to be gulped not sipped, the wine’s lower alcohol will make that easy to do!
The 2020 vintage created some unique challenges for the entire West Coast, most notably the wildfires that plagued parts of Oregon and California. 2020 was definitely a challenge for our entire Willamette Valley community, and we were no different, The smoke that was in the Willamette Valley had an effect on some of our Pinot Noir vineyards and we notice roasted and herbal notes in some of the lots. We were able to mitigate some of the effects by waiting to pick and keeping macerations short. Our yields were off as well in 2020 and we are down about 20% in production for the vintage.
These sites are anchored in clay rich volcanic soils, as well as some marine sedimentary soils too, all overlaid against fragmented basalt.
We fell hard for the carbonic maceration fermentation technique while learning about and making wine in the Beaujolais region of France, and began experimenting with this technique and Pinot Noir. For the carbonic fermentations, we created a pied de cuve (early native fer-ment) with a small amount of grapes to build a strong yeast population from the native flora from each vineyard, and these were added to the ferments after a few days of carbon dioxide enrichment. With these lots, we fermented each site in a stainless steel closed top tank. Skin times were kept shorter than normal to reduce the extraction of smoke related com-pounds and the wines fermented a bit warmer to extract more fruit. Aging was completed mostly in stainless tank and some Oak barrels for 5 months before bottling.