2018 Le Cadeau, Diversité Pinot Noir, $60
Winery Info: In 1997 Tom and Deb Mortimer bought a previously uncultivated site near Newberg, Oregon in the Chehalem Mountains.
They developed and planted it with one goal: to produce distinctive, complex, estate-grown Pinot Noir. They farm meticulously and sustainably, incorporating biodynamic practices, knowing that great wine always traces its roots back to the vineyard. Their small-batch cuvées are produced by several different winemakers, giving each wine its unique personality. The Diversité showcases the diverse range of clones, soil, and exposure found in their estate vineyard.
Winemaker: Jim Sanders
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir from nine different clones: Pommard, Mariafeld, Dijon 667, 777, 113,114, and 115, Mt. Eden, and Calera. Aged 11 months in French oak.
Vineyard: Sourced from three northern blocks of their estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountain AVA. With soils ranging from heavily broken volcanic basalt (in the northwest corner) to more lush Nekia soil (in the northeast).
Flavor Profile: This Pinot is expressive, rich, and toasty, with inviting complexity from the blending of nine different clones grown on different soil types. The Swiss Mariafeld clone adds natural spice notes that have become a hallmark of this cuvée. With dark red and black fruit flavors, a hint of mocha, and good minerality.
Availability: 241 cases made. There is still some left of this vintage.
Drinking Window: You could give it a year or so for the complexity to develop even further, then enjoy anytime up to 2027.
Food Pairing: Earthy, savory fare, such as seasonal mushroom dishes, or with roast chicken or pork, duck, or other game birds.
2021 David Hill Vineyard and Winery, Block Sixteen Sylvaner, $28
Winery Info: David Hill is one of the oldest and northernmost wineries in the Willamette Valley. The current owners bought the property near Forest Grove in 1992 but the farm itself dates back to the 1880s, when homesteaders were already producing wine there. In 1965 Charles Coury arrived with rootstock from Alsace and Burgundy and began planting what is now David Hill Vineyard. Coury had studied cool climate viticulture in Colmar, and was greatly inspired by traditional Alsatian winemaking. David Hill has some of the oldest vines in the Willamette Valley, including this Sylvaner.
Winemaker: Chad Stock
Grapes: 100% Sylvaner, fermented and aged 25% in Amphorae and 75% in stainless steel.
Vineyard: From their old vine, dry-farmed estate vineyard planted in the mid-1960s on Laurelwood soil.
Flavor Profile: A light and refreshing wine with aromas of rosewater and spice and flavors of fresh pear with a hint of salinity. It is complex and textured, with good minerality and crisp acidity.
Availability: There are about 20 cases left of this vintage.
Drinking Window: Enjoy now or over the next year or two.
Food Pairing: Perfect for Asian fare, especially sushi or sashimi. It would also be great with tapas, shellfish or grilled fish, or with a nice summer picnic.