A Cameron Celebration: Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique

The whole year of tasting and recommending Cameron has led to this moment: the release of Cameron's crown jewels, the brilliant Pinot noirs and Chardonnays from Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique vineyards.

So much more than a sum of superlatives, these wines are a celebration of uniqueness and individuality on the esoteric side and of deep roots, organic and non-irrigated farming on the grounded side. They are simply brilliant.

 


Abbey Ridge explores the exotic and sultry side of Pinot noir, so distinctive and so damn good. Wearing brighter shades in 2017 and undeniably elegant, the best kind of musk mingles with crushed red fruits, lavender, and soft rose petals. Exhibiting the kind of seamless movement that can only come from old vines (40 years in Abbey Ridge's case), we can't decide if its powerfully delicate or delicately powerful. Take your pick. Many years ago, this rose to "must-have" on any Willamette Pinot shortlist; the strength of the '17 vintage further cements it. Utterly tempting to open a bottle now (go ahead, you have our full permission), in 2024, 2030, or any time in between.


A simple "wow" will do. The strongest, most brilliant Abbey Ridge Chardonnay we've tasted. For real. After Monday's Deep Roots Coalition tasting where this was poured, more than one Oregon winemaker asked if they could buy some from us. That's when you know Oregon Chardonnay is great. Cameron refers to this as reminiscent of Chablis with its bright citrus and mineral notes. It is simply divine and unfortunately, super-limited; only 1.5 barrels were bottled. We expect it to sell out quickly.


The complexities of Old World Pinot noir meets the fruit we all love from Oregon. In 2017 the romance spawns an especially silky and refined Rouge. An intriguing melange of dark red fruits join forest, tobacco and a kiss of orange wrapped in Clos Electrique's mineral layers. With multiple old red Burgundy clones of Pinot noir planted on a mere three acres of prime Dundee Hills soil, Clos Electrique is one of Oregon's most complex and fascinating vineyards. If you find yourself with no other wine in the house, don't fret: this can be cracked in the next year and thoroughly enjoyed though it will rock your world after a handful of years in the cellar.


We've tasted a boat load of Oregon Chardonnay and each vintage this is one of a literal handful of the top wines, period. Planted to rare clones of Chardonnay not typically found in Oregon and California, Clos Electrique delivers a rich intensity and voluminous Chardonnay beauty. Queue Meursault fantasies. The '17 vintage adds freshness and focus; we expect it will age the better part of a decade.