In our opinion, you could not have asked for a better growing season than during the 2018 vintage. In July and early August, a long stretch of dry and hot weather helped the vines grow, but the heat wave broke right before véraison, giving the grapes milder daytime temperatures and cool nights to promote flavor development and preserve the bright acidity that we love. Rainfall was also ideal, where there was enough hydration to keep these dry-farmed vineyards hydrated without sacrificing concentration. That weather held through harvest, and as a result the fruit was some of the best we’ve seen in years.
We love Gamay! Division has long been a champion of Gamay from the Willamette Valley. We work with a number of different Gamay sites across Oregon, but Methven Family Vineyards is a special site for us, as it was the site of our first Gamay Noir harvest back in 2011. Today, nearly a decade later, it’s still our largest and most important Gamay vineyard in Oregon and we believe our long experience with Methven makes our Gamay Noir “Cru”, a single-vineyard bottling of Methven fruit, one of our most intricate Gamay wines.
Our Methven Vineyard Gamay was fermented in traditional open-top fermenters, but a heavy use of full cluster fermentation provides a double whammy of a touch of carbonic masceration with tannin and herbaceousness from the stems. After primary fermentation, the wine was aged in neutral barriques and puncheons. Unfined and unfiltered, it only received two small sulfur additions, after malolactic fermentation and just before bottling.
The 2018 Gamay “Cru” is a wine of power and elegance – a prime example of the potential of Willamette Valley Gamay. A mushroomy gameiness comibines with iron-like minerality to create a wine with serious structure.