Grapelive: Wine of the Day June 25, 2020

2018 Cameron Winery, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The beautiful and dark profiled Cameron Dundee Hills Pinot is one of the best values of the vintage with gorgeous detail and much less reductive notes than usually show in these young Cameron Pinots showing an array of expressive flavors and floral aromas. The 2018 Cameron Dundee Hills Pinot, by the legendary John Paul, one of Oregon’s hall of fame winemakers is very Vosne-Romannee like and at 13.4% is wonderfully balance and full of energy with layers of black cherry, mulberry, currant, strawberry and plum fruits, crushed rose petals, orange tea, delicate earth and loaminess and red spices. With air this exceptional wine adds mineral, sweet herb and smoky wood notes with touches of vanilla and cedar adding just the right amount of luxurious accents here. It’s very interesting, this Willamette Pinot takes on a personality that actually reminds me of Assmannshausen Spatbergunder with qualities similar to the fabled Hollenberg cru, like some of the reserve bottlings of August Kesseler, which are wines that in some vintages are as good as Pinot Noir can ever hope to get. Both Clos Electrique and Abbey Ridge use organic treatments and holistic farming methods and have a variety of clonal material with John Paul preferring old heritage clones which he painstakingly collected himself and the yields are limited to produce wines of depth and concentration.

John Paul’s Pinots are always made from non-irrigated vines and in this case was sourced from his own Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique cru vineyards set of the classic Jory (red iron rich) volcanic soils which give this regions wines their unique personalities and distinction, which I find adds complex and exotic nuances nd makes Dundee special. This 2018 is fresh and has a deep garnet and ruby hue in the glass that beautifully captures the light and the texture is satiny and the length is very rewarding, making it an insanely good value and a wine that will excel with cuisine, especially with seared duck breast, pepper crusted ahi, blackened salmon and even smoked meats. This 2018, not an easy vintage for the Oregon winemakers, is very charming and the brave and skilled were rewarded with some incredible Pinot Noirs, like this one from Cameron, it is a wine to stock up on for mid term drinking, 3 to 5 years. Cameron usually allows their Pinot to age a minimum of 18 months and sometimes closer to 22 months. Cameron Winery, founded in 1984, is dedicated to producing high-quality, hand-crafted small lot and sustainably-farmed wines, producing 3,000 to 4,000 cases annually and is regarded as one of the best Pinot producers in the new world, but John Paul, who also loves Italian wines, make a small amount of Nebbiolo and Friuli inspired whites, including a blend of Friuliano, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Auxerrois, that should not be missed either!
($30 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive