Finally — Wine! (2002)
A couple years after Le Cadeau had been on the market, a journalist asked me about the most exciting wine that I had ever tried; I pondered a minute and replied, “Barrel samples of our 2001 Pinot Noir!” (The barrels of course was ultimately blended into another wine; 2002 was the first Le Cadeau Pinot Noir vintage).
When we planted Pinot noir on our property it was impossible to project an outcome because there were no other nearby Oregon vineyards as reference points. I knew that Pinot noir liked rocks (and we had plenty of those!), and I knew that the climate was comparable to other sites (despite our relatively high 700’ elevation). But ultimately, there’s only one way to know what the wine will be like, and that’s to make it and taste it. In this regard, the first taste of your own wine is like no other!
After all the time, effort, and expense that went into developing our Oregon vineyard site, it was both exciting and reassuring to discover that we had “character” in our Pinot noir wine. Indeed, after my first taste, I was reasonably confident that Black Hole Vineyard was a special site in the Willamette Valley – the aromatics were fresh, but intense; the fruit flavors were pure and deep; and there were hints of Asian spices mingled with an earthiness that is often not found in young Pinot noir wines. To this day, those core characteristics remain, regardless of the vintage or the winemaking.
2002, in Oregon wine country, was a wonderful growing season that resulted in beautiful fruit for Le Cadeau Vineyard. The 2002 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir was bottled in January of 2004, and released in June of 2005 – eight years and four months after we purchased the property. Confident that the vineyard would produce excellent wines, later that year we planted an additional 4-acres of Pinot noir – Dijon clones #114 and #115 – bringing the total vineyard size to 10-acres of grapevines.