Cellars Wine Club - July 2012
Learn the finer points to many of the wines we offer each month. Our club wines are expertly researched and selected for quality, value and uniqueness and every one has an interesting history. Here are some of the wines we are offering this month:
Cameron Winery - Dundee, Oregon
2009 Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir
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, the enterprise moved to its current location in the hills above Dundee. 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. John 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 assistant winemaker Tom Sivilli. Cameron sources 3 vineyards, all in the Dundee Hills. Each exhibits quite unique terroir and therefore, depending on your taste, preferences can vary significantly. All of the wines are fermented with the indigenous yeasts in open top tanks in which beautiful women immerse their nude bodies in the warm must to keep things exciting in the cellar. The resulting wines are aged for nearly 2 years in a mixture of French oak barrels varying from new to completely neutral and bottled without filtration. . Year after year Abbey Ridge produces some of the best Pinot noir in Oregon. It is not the richest or the ripest but it is clearly one of the most elegant sites in the state. Medium cherry red, it displays a fragrant bouquet of Asian spices, incense, floral notes, cherry, and raspberry which John Paul attributes to the Wadenswil clones. Incipiently complex on the palate, it will benefit from 1-2 years of additional cellaring and will provide enjoyment through 2019, perhaps longer. 92 Points Robert Parker.
Cadence - Seattle, Washington
2007 Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard Red Mountain
The Cadence winery is located in the South Park region of Seattle. It is owned and operated by husband and wife team Ben Smith and Gaye McNutt. Cadence is dedicated to showcasing the finest vineyard sites in Washington State. Their Bordeaux-styled blends are their interpretation of the best qualities reflected in Washington's greatest vineyard terroir. Cadence's winemaking philosophy is based on the belief that blending creates a balanced wine of greater character than the individual components. Their wines express the power, intensity or elegance of the vineyard reflected in the characteristics of the varietals on the vineyard site. The 2007 Camerata is made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Grapes were sourced from the Cara Mia Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. After fermentation the wine was aged for 18 months in 50% new French oak (mostly Taransaud). Aromas of crushed rock, toasty oak, Asian spices, incense, black currant, and blackberry are followed by a wine with excellent grip and volume, layers of fruit, and several years of aging potential. Give it 4-5 years of additional cellaring and drink it from 2014 to 2027. Just 496 cases produced. 94 Points Wine & Spirits. 93 Points Robert Parker. 92 Points Stephen Tanzer. 92 Points Wine Enthusiast. 90 Points Wine Spectator.
Shafer Vineyards – Napa California
2010 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch
Shafer Vineyards traces its beginnings to 1972 when John Shafer left a 23-year career in the publishing industry and, with his family, moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District, the Shafer family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards, which dated to the 1920s, and terracing the steep and rocky hillsides, eventually expanding vineyard acreage to its current 50 acres. Doug Shafer became winemaker in 1983 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. A year later Elias Fernandez joined the winery as assistant winemaker. Together Doug and Elias have worked closely to forge the Shafer style of quality, consistency and elegance. The Red Shoulder Ranch Vineyard which lies on 66 acres near the northern tip of San Francisco Bay, is where Shafer harvests fruit for this classic single vineyard wine. Shafer’s Carneros vineyard is home to countless gophers who love to feast on young vine roots. To contain this problem, Shafer has erected owl nesting boxes and hawk perches to encourage day and night rodent patrol. “The Red-shouldered hawks and other birds of prey do such an outstanding job, we named the vineyard in their honor,” says Doug Shafer. Made from 100% Chardonnay, 2010 vintage is a return to the brilliance of this cuvee. Excellent acidity reveals a brighter profile than the 2009. Citrus, flowers, crushed rocks and mint wrap around the energetic, focused finish. There is little evidence of oak in either its aromas or flavors. Drink it over the next several years as this is not a style that ages longer than 3-4 years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015. 92 Points Robert Parker.
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