2019 Cameron Winery, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
John Paul’s Cameron Winery is one of Oregon’s legendary properties, along with The Eyrie Vineyards, Beaux Freres, Ken Wright, St. Innocent and Doug Tunnel’s Brick House, which like Cameron is inspired by old school Burgundy with sustainable, organic and non irrigation farming, as is done here on Cameron’s latest Dundee Hills Pinot. The 2019 is a very pure and stylish effort with a sense of lightness in the glass, though nicely dark and it shows lots of racy red fruits with some vigorous energy in the form of natural acidity, delivering red cherry, currant, spicy vine picked berries and a touch of blood orange fruit that is accented by cedary wood, truffle, black tea, cinnamon and faint trace of graphite. The 2019 is a very fresh vintage that has allowed this wine to be, while less dense in fruit, elegant and focused with a subtle floral delicacy, it opens up with a less reductive edge than you usually find in these Cameron Pinots, making for a wine that can be enjoyed in its youth and with plenty to admire here in a satiny medium bodied effort.

For this wine, Cameron sources the Pinot Noir grapes from two sites in the Dundee Hills, two in this unique terroir with its Jory soils, set at good elevation in Oregon’s classic volcanic red hills, that gives these wines their soul and distinct characteristics with exceptional pigment, lush red fruits, exotic spiciness, minerality and a sultry earthiness, all of which shows in Cameron’s latest release. All of the wines, made by John Paul and his team, are fermented with the indigenous yeasts in open top tanks and maceration is lengthy and gentle to extract as much flavor and color as can be. Paul jokes that the fermenting juice is tended by beautiful women who immerse their nude bodies in the warm must to keep things exciting in the cellar, though I hear from ex Cameron interns and winemakers that sadly this is just a myth. The Cameron Pinots are aged for nearly two years in a mixture of French oak barrels, that Paul says, that range from new to completely neutral (used) and then bottled without filtration. This regional Dundee Hills bottling, along with Cameron’s Ribbon Ridge version are awesome values and very guilt free for the price, these two Pinots are great way to start exploring John Paul’s wines!
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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