2016 Cameron Winery, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The Cameron Dundee Hills Pinot is a blend of the Clos Electrique and Abbey Ridge Vineyards, two that make up the best of John Paul’s main sites in the AVA (Dundee Hills) that is on the Jory (volcanic) soils and making for a full and expressive wine, as in this ripe 2016 vintage. The Abbey Ridge Vineyard site is located high up in the Dundee Hills, at about 600 plus feet. These vines were first planted here in 1976, and are some of the oldest in Oregon, they help produce some of Cameron’s finest wines, while Clos Electrique, planted by Cameron’s winemaker John Paul, is a tiny estate vineyard that consists of approximately 3 acres of Pinot Noir with each block of vines planted to multiple clones, a technique increases the complexity of flavors in the wines. Both sites are farmed without irrigation and this dry farming practice concentrates the these wines and you’ll notice the deep color and exotic mouth feel in them, especially in a warm vintage such as 2016. The 2016 Cameron Dundee Hills is an impressively rich and opulent Pinot Noir with a backbone of velvety tannin and dark fruit, it starts with a touch of reduction and feral (earthy/animal) notes before the fruit explodes on the almost full bodied palate with layers of sweet cherry, blackberry, plum and wild currants, but nicely this powerful array of fruit is contrasted with a mix of spices, flinty stones and well judged French oak that has hints of cedar, dried vanilla and faint coco power. The mouth is lovely and silky, but this is still a youthful and brash Pinot Noir that will gain with more bottle age, it was crafted using traditional Burgundian methods, including native ferments and over a year in barrel, without any additions or filtering. Cameron is making some amazing wines, and not just these fine Pinots, as John Paul, who’s been making wine here in Oregon since 1984, is also talented with Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and even Nebbiolo! If you’ve not discovered Cameron yet, now is a great time, and this Dundee Hills Pinot is a great way to start!
($29 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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