2012 Le Cadeau Vineyard, “Côte Est” Pinot Noir $49.75
Winery info: In 1997 Tom and Deb Mortimer bought a previously uncultivated vineyard site near Newberg, Oregon. They developed and planted it with one goal: to produce distinctive, complex, estate-grown Pinot Noirs. Each of their small-batch cuvées is produced by a different consulting winemaker, giving each one its unique personality, showcasing the different clones, soils, and aspect of their site.
Winemaker: Steve Ryan, formerly of California’s Martinelli Winery where he worked with Helen Turley.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, mostly Dijon clones, with 5% Pommard
Vineyard sources: From east-facing blocks of their estate, Le Cadeau Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The cooler temperatures here and the Nekia (Jory) soils give the wine its layered complexity, dark fruit flavors, and bright acidity.
Flavor profile: Smooth and elegant with, as the winery notes, “a delicate balance between fruit, earthiness, and structure.” A very refined Pinot.
Production/Availability: Only 156 cases were made and the winery is now out of this vintage. The distributor has about a case left which won’t last much longer.
Drinkability: Delicious now, although it should develop nicely for up to five more years
Food Pairing: Red meat, game, lamb.
2013 Brick House, Select Pinot Noir, $37
Winery info: Newberg-based Brick House wines are estate-grown on their 40-acre estate on Ribbon Ridge. All of their fruit is certified organic and bio-dynamic, grown with passion and dedication by owner, winemaker, vineyard manager, Doug Tunnell.
Winemaker: Doug Tunnell
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard sources: This selection is a so-called entry-level Pinot, made during especially bountiful years, from a selection of barrels representing all of the vineyard blocks on their farm.
Flavor profile: The winery describes this one as easy-going and approachable. It is complex on the palate, and very satisfying, with lots going on, flavor wise. We found it pretty impressive and satisfying for an “entry-level” wine and a great introduction to the Brick House style.
Production/Availability: They made less than 200 cases, but it should be available for a while.
Drinkability: This one is ready to enjoy anytime.
Food Pairing: A fine accompaniment to salmon, or lighter meat or game dishes.