2020 Cameron Winery, Giuliano Bianco, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The light and crisp Giuliano, an Italian inspired white blend, is from Cameron’s Dundee Hills estate vineyards, Clos Electrique and White Oak, and is a delicious wine, one that has become one of my favorites, when I can get it of course. All of these Cameroni (the Italian style wines) are highly sought after by fans of the legendary John Paul, famous for his Pinots, but who is an Italian wine fanatic himself, so they sell out fast, especially this one. Highly refreshing, slightly effervescent from the capture of CO2 during tank fermentation and with a lovely white flowers bouquet the latest Giuliano delivers a zingy palate of racy citrus, green apple, bosc pear and tart quince fruits, saline infused wet rock, sweet and sour herbs, spearmint and lingering mineral tones. This is a wine to enjoy with oysters, sushi and or linguine pasta with Manila claims, it is jazzy stuff that gets more interesting with food and is rather more than the sum of its parts. The nose, the fruit and tanginess mixed with the stony dimension and orange blossoms add up to a very compelling white wine that gains texture and spice with air highlighting the volcanic Jory soils. Those that like the whites and or field blends of Northeastern Italy will find this wine faithful if not a riveting new world example, full of personality with no pretense and with a raw transparency that is wonderfully addictive.
The Giuliano White Wine is what, winemaker, John Paul of Cameron Winery calls a traditional Friulian varietal blend of grapes including Friuliano, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco (Blanc), Auxerrois and a touch of floral intense Moscato (dry Muscat) that is all fermented and settled in cool stainless steel and bottled about four months after harvest, that Paul adds, to capture the high tone fruit aromatics in the bottle, along with some zesty spritz. Fermented bone dry and with grapes picked leaner in sugars make this wine very energetic and nicely retrained in natural alcohol at 12.4% and the acidity is excellent, a tribute to Paul’s skills in the cellar along with his care in the vines, which is driven by a belief in sustainable and non irrigation farming. Paul himself suggests a tower of prawns with this Giuliano field blend, and who am I to argue, that does actually sounds fabulous right now. Cameron’s Italian influenced wines are quite stunning from the Nebbiolo to a really esoteric 100% Friuliano that was fermented on the skins and amphora raised, these are exciting wines that sometimes rival John Paul’s Burgundy style Pinots and Chardonnays. The solo Pinot Blanc or Pinot Bianco is also a sleeper in the lineup and should not be missed, it is a grape that is really become exceptional in Oregon in recent years and then there is Cameron’s Pinot Gris bottlings, very cool stuff as well, a Ramato version with light skin contact to a Gris Rouge that is as dark as a Pinot Noir, another wine I am geeky about.
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive