Grapelive: Wine of the Day December 28, 2017

2013 Cameron, Nebbiolo, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The beautiful and detailed Cameron Nebbiolo is denominated “Willamette Valley” because the wine is a blend of fruit from Clos Electrique, planted in 1993 (Dundee Hills AVA) and Foster Farms (Ribbon Ridge AVA) planted in 2000, and like John Paul’s Pinot it is a class act, even from a vintage that was a bit off from the regions standards, this is quite thrilling stuff. Cameron’s 2013 Nebbiolo weighs in at 12.6% alcohol which gives this wine a delicacy and brightness that reminds me of a Boca (Upper Piedmonte) or a an ultra fresh Langhe Nebbiolo with an easy textural mouth feel and subtle complexity showing brisk and racy red fruits and lengthy creaminess to start with a bit of grip and mineral notes. In terms of American Nebbiolo, this is lovely and varietal correct, it joins Palmina (Steve Clifton, ex-Brewer-Clifton) as true to the grape wines, but still uniquely stylistically their own creations. As the Cameron Nebbiolo opens, the tannins fill out and the fruit gets more refined, this red changes and evolves wonderfully in the glass revealing black cherry, wild plum and tangy raspberry layers along with a touch of bitter herb, balsamic and menthol hints as well as anise, saline stones and light spices. Day two even gets better with this Nebbiolo allowing dried flowers, rose oil and soft wood notes to blend in with grace, while things remain vibrant and focused, not much bigger than Cameron’s Pinot Noir, this is an intriguing Willamette offering that delivers a top notch performance, again it is worth mentioning that the vintage was very uneven in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, so given that, this stuff is just that much more a note worthy example, and I’ll be very excited to see how the 2014 is in comparison. There is a lot of things to admire here, even now, but I can imagine there will be some rewards in aging this 2013 Cameron Nebbiolo a few more years. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is more than a one trick pony, there’s so many exciting things coming out now it’s head spinning, besides the great Pinot Noirs, you are finding wonderful Gamay, Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne, with John Paul of Cameron making this Nebbiolo and a Friuli inspired white blend as well. Cameron’s Pinots are legendary, this is a winery to follow, getting on his list is a great idea, the wines are not easy to find, but I was able to get a good sampling from Portland’s Vinopolis Wine Shop, including this Nebbiolo.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive