2019 Cameron Winery, Pinot Blanc “Giannani” Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Fast becoming one of my favorite white wines in Oregon, the Cameron Giovanni made exclusively from Pinot Blanc delivers smooth layers of apple driven fruits, brisk citrus, peach flesh, mineral tones, wet stone, as well as a touch of honey, herbs and white flowers. This vintage is zesty and has a bit more acidity than the last two of three versions and feels a touch lighter in style, but still very compelling and gains a nice textural form with air, it shines for its varietal character and freshness, making it a good Summer white and impeccable with a range of food and cuisine choices, including creamy soft cheeses, shell fish and herb crusted or lemon chicken dishes. As I have been saying for a while now, Pinot Blanc is becoming one of the best white grape expressions in Oregon, especially this one, as well as the very stylish versions crafted by Ken Wright and the talented Kelley Fox, both of which come from the coastal range side of the Willamette Valley, like the famed Freedom Hill Vineyard on marine sedimentary soils, while Cameron’s comes from the red hills of Dundee on the classic volcanic Jory soils, that gives a unique individual character with a touch of spice and that mineral streak.
The Cameron Pinot Bianco (Blanc) or “Giovanni” as winemaker John Paul calls it, is fermented in cool stainless steel tanks, which the winery notes, typically is from 3 different lots of estate grown grapes that are from non irrigated vines with appropriately chosen cultures of aromatic yeasts, and bottled early after a short 6 to 8 months in its exuberant youth, to preserve vitality, usually in the early Spring, after harvest. John Paul, who’s Cameron Winery is one of best known and admired Pinot Noir producers in the Dundee Hills AVA of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, has been influenced and inspired by the winemakers of northern Italy, especially the wines of Friuli, Alto Adige and Piedmonte regions. In this case he brings a little bit of the Dolomites to us with his Giovanni, it shows the beautiful crisp details and mineral charm of some the top producers there, like Manincor and Terlano. The Italian style lineup at Cameron (what they call Cameronis) includes a fabulous Nebbiolo, that will certainly surprise and impress the Barolo and Barbaresco drinkers out there with its purity and classic Langhe personality, plus a collection of whites, including this 100% Pinot Blanc and the Friuli style Fruliano blend of Friulano, Pinot Bianc, Pinot Grigio and Auxerrois along with a small touch of Moscato, as well as the skin contact “Ramato” coppery Pinot Grigio. All of these are fantastic values and intriguing wines.
($20 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive