2016 Cameron Winery, Rouge de Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Cameron’s skin contact Pinot Gris is one of America’s best Orange wines, and it really gets all the pigment from these grapes making for a deeply colored wine, hence the name Rouge de Gris, which means red from grey in French. According to John Paul of the famed Oregon producer Cameron, this wine is dedicated to the late Stanko Radikon, who was one of Italy’s most iconic orange wine producers, and his son, Saša of Radikon Oslavia in Italy’s northeast near the border with Slovenia, who made Paul realize the potential locked up in the Pinot gris grape. Cameron, and winemaker John Paul, is also notable for being the leading member of the Deep Roots Coalition, as are Doug Tunnell of Brick House and Kelley Fox—it’s an organization of wineries that are committed to dry farming and Paul is considered one of the most thoughtful farmers in the Willamette Valley. This Pinot Gris comes from Cameron’s oldest vineyard is Abbey Ridge located high in the Dundee Hills at an elevation range of 500-700 feet, with the first vines were planted here back in 1976. Made to be served chilled the Rouge de Gris is fresh and vibrant showing lovely wild strawberries, minty herb, rose petal and touches of red citrus, peach and tart raspberry in a medium weight wine, it has a striking generosity and perception of lush detail before a subtle grippy savory side comes through that makes you aware of just how serious this wine is. I loved the 2015 version, but this riper vintage really turns this Rouge de Gris into a very complete offering, maybe taking it to the next level, as it is especially well crafted and drinks beautifully and gets even better when paired with Fall food choices and more robust cuisine. Cameron, known for their legendary Pinot Noir(s) like their estate Clos Electrique and Abbey Riddge bottlings also make some Italian inspired wines as well, somewhat under the radar and having a cult like following they can be hard to find, but are well worth searching out, be sure to look for this Rouge de Gris as well as John Paul’s Nebbiolo and his Friulano based white blend Giuliano, all of which just got released!
($33 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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