Cameron Winery Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2018
Black cherries, orange rind, vanilla in the aroma. A big voluptuous mouth with Amarone flavors that make for a great one night stand. Silky mouth and great finish indicative of one of the truly great vintages to grace Oregon’s Willamette Valley.This wine goes great with pizza!
Winemaker John Paul Winemaker John Paul coaxes every last drop of Pinot Noir during harvest at Cameron Winery. John Paul, the irrepressible owner and winemaker of Cameron, founded the winery in 1984. After working out of a roofless warehouse on the other side of the tracks in McMinnville, they moved to their current location in the hills above Dundee. Here, they planted Clos Electrique, a 4 acre dry-farmed vineyard that included Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Clos Electrique was planted in a traditional Burgundian manner, using several different clones of each varietal. Over the years the vineyard has expanded to 7 acres. Varietals now also include Nebbiolo and a field blend of white Italian grapes. John Paul came to winemaking from an academic background. After receiving a PhD in Marine Biochemistry, he realized that winemaking offered opportunities to use the right side of his brain and to drink at work. He therefore jumped academic ship and began working in the wine industry, with stints in Oregon, New Zealand, and California. After working as an assistant winemaker at Carneros Creek Winery in the Napa Valley, he took the high road north and started Cameron with his wife, Teri Wadsworth, and partners, Bill and Julia Wayne of Abbey Ridge Vineyard, Marc Dochez, and Shawna Archibald. The winery name was inspired by its location in Dundee and was named after the Paul family’s Scottish Clan. Cameron Winery is dedicated to producing high-quality, hand-crafted and sustainably-farmed libations for the people. A small family operation, producing 3,000 to 4,000 cases annually, John is now joined by his wife Teri, assistant winemaker Tom Sivilli, assistant vineyard manager Jack Fagundes, two cats, two geese, 12 chickens and a 3 hives of bees. John and Teri’s children, Tawny and Julian, are also intimately involved in the winery’s happenings.
Home of the first Pinot noir vineyard of the Willamette Valley, planted by David Lett of Eyrie Vineyard in 1966, today the Dundee Hills AVA remains the most densely planted AVA in the valley (and state). To its north sits the Chehalem Valley and to its south, runs the Willamette River. Within the region’s 12,500 acres, about 1,700 are planted to vine on predominantly basalt-based, volcanic, Jory soil.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”