2014 may be the best vintage yet of Arley's Leap. A slightly younger vine planting within Abbey Ridge vineyard (planted in 1990), Arley's is exceptional this vintage. More similar to the Abbey Ridge bottling but more supple and silky, it exudes beautiful black cherry, wild strawberry, lavender, and rose.
Cameron enjoys access to some of the oldest vines in the Willamette Valley, most notably Abbey Ridge vineyard, approaching its 40th birthday. Abbey Ridge’s owners/farmers Bill and Julia Wayne are partners in Cameron. The first vines were planted in 1976; a younger block of Pinot noir was planted in 1990 on a hillside above the original vines. Known as Arley’s Leap, it is named after Bill & Julia’s dear, old departed dog, Arley, whose famous leap was from a second story balcony in Victoria when startled by a cat! It was a favorite haunt of dear, old departed Arley and so rightfully bears his name. A few more gnarly low tones accent other aromas typical of Abbey Ridge. It was the wine picked for the wedding of Phoebe Wayne, a toddler when Arley was in his prime! She had her pick of any wine from the cellar so take the hint.
2013 vintage notes
John Paul on the 2013 vintage: “Inclement weather in the Fall is no joke to those engaged in agricultural pursuits. Hail, rain, wind, cold and heat are all enemies of the grape vine throughout the growing season. But in the Fall, as the perfect clusters are nearing their state of perfection, it is rain and the temperature associated with it that I keep a vigilant eye on.
In this regard there is no better friend than the University of Washington Department of Meteorology! In the latter part of September 2013, through the use of satellite imagery and modeling, they produced a 5-day rolling forecast that caught my attention and left me scrambling for the harvest. The Pinot noir was just entering what I think of as ‘the ripe zone’ which, depending on the year, might have a window of 2 weeks or several days. In this case I saw a major storm sweeping out of the North Pacific generated by a low pressure area. More importantly it was caught by and being swept around a high pressure system to the south, veering north of Hawaii and concentrating its full force straight toward Oregon. It looked like we had less than 5 days to get the Pinot noir picked before it would hit so I started scheduling picking for each of the 5 days.
The final Pinot noir that I was able to get to arrived at 1 pm on a Friday, was unloaded and covered by 1:30. Literally 15 minutes later, warm rain started to fall. The storm increased in intensity over the next several days and dumped several inches of rain in the process.”