A wine that’s pure fun. Delectable Pinot fruitiness meets savory complexities for a barnstorming good time.
In the words of Division’s Kate and Tom: 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 the technique with Pinot Noir during our first few vintages in the States. Carbonic Maceration involves fermenting the wines fully on the stems in a closed vessel that is initially inundated with carbon dioxide, macerating the grape skins by mostly using the co2 to enzymatically extract color, phenolics and flavors, versus the traditional red fermentation practices involving pulverization and recirculation.
We seek a fresh style of Pinot Noir with vibrancy and fruitiness for this wine, and hence harvest our Pinot Noir grapes for this bottling earlier than our other traditional fermentations. For both carbonic fermentations, we created a pied de cuve (early native ferment) 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 both of our carbonic fermentations we fermented each site in a stainless steel closed top tank. Ultimately each of the ferments lasted about between 20-25 days on the skins. The wines were aged for 5 months in a combination of French oak barrels and one stainless tank.
2015 vintage note
The result of our “Méthode Carbonique” Pinot Noir was a deliciously fruity and vibrant wine with mineral intensity that mellows and refines the intense fruity tones. Compared to years past, this 2015 wine has a bit more punch a clearly demonstrates strawberries and licorice on nose. The palate is balanced at 12.5% alcohol and mineral rich with calcium chalkiness from the concrete ageing against a fruit smorgas- bord of freeze dried strawberries and thyme. The wine is medium bodied and very smooth (especially for the vintage), and has a beautiful garnet color. This wine is drinking very well at the moment in it’s early youth, but likely continue to evolve over the coming months and hopefully even years.
As such, with a desire for a fresh Pinot Noir with vibrancy, we farmed this specific block more like a crisp white varietal and picked the Pinot Noir block quite early in 2015. For the carbonic fermentation, we cre- ated a pied de cuve (early native ferment) with a small amount of Methven grapes to build a strong yeast population from hopefully the native flora, which was added after a few days of carbon dioxide enrich- ment to one of our concrete closed top vats. As is usual with our carbonic fermentations in concrete, the temperature is slow to rise and the must takes a bit time to warm up and get going. Ultimately the ferment lasted about 25 days and the ferment was pressed off in early October to be returned to the concrete vat for ageing. As the tank is not completely full with the mass of the skins and stems gone, we used wine from our whole cluster Johan Vineyards ferment to top up the tank.
Alc 12.3%, 250 cases produced