We were honored to host publisher and writer Meredith May to Le Cadeau Vineyard this summer. She was able to visit our tasting room and tour our unique 16-acre vineyard atop Parrett Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains AVA.
You can read her write up of the experience in the October/November 2019 issue of The SOMM Journal by clicking the link. (We're on pages 108-109.)
Interested in the wines she sampled? Get them here:
Le Cadeau Vineyard 2017 Rocheux Pinot Noir ($50) - From winemaker Jim Sanders, it offers up a woodsy note of tree sap, coriander, raspberry, and cherry. 90
Le Cadeau Vineyard 2017 Cote Est Pinot Noir ($50) - An expression delivering earth, spice, and cherry-cedar underbrush from winemaker Steve Ryan. Vibrancy is key to the weighty palate, which presents salted mocha and bright fruit. 93
Le Cadeau Vineyard 2017 Diversite Pinot Noir ($50) - Made by Sanders, it shows redder fruit followed by roses and mushroom. Sharp, tart, and edgy, with spiced flowers, cinnamon stick, and cherry. 93
Le Cadeau Vineyard 2016 Trajet Reserve Pinot Noir ($80) - A whole-cluster Pinot Noir from Ryan with a spice-box nose and palate. Sassafras, green tea, fennel, and plum skin make this Mortimer's most ageworthy wine. 94
Our 2017 Le Cadeau Rocheux Pinot Noir has been selected by Washington Wine Blog as one of "Ten Great Oregon Pinot Noirs for Thanksgiving."
A big thank you to Dr. Owen Bargreen, who writes:
The 2017 'Rocheaux' Pinot Noir was made by consulting winemaker Jim Sanders. Vines for this wine are located on the highly rocky west side of the vineyard. As the wine itself begins to open a whiff of volcanic terroir greets you in the glass alongside peat moss, blood orange and guava aromas. The wine shows a silky mouthful with bright red fruits that connect with citrus rind and suggestions of black truffle shavings. The combination of poise and texture is outstanding. Drink 2019-2029- 92
Elevate your Thanksgiving with this delicious Oregon Pinot noir, crafted from estate fruit grown in the Chehalem Mountains AVA of the Willamette Valley.
15% case discount automatically applied to orders of 12 or more bottles!
Tune in to KPNW 1120 AM tomorrow morning from 8:25-8:55 a.m. to hear owner Tom Mortimer on air with Julia Crowley, host of Wake Up Call's wine segment! They'll be tasting through a few Le Cadeau Vineyard selections and talking about the vineyard.
The September issue of Wine Enthusiast selected the 2017 Le Cadeau Red Label Pinot Noir as one of their "11 Editors’ Choice Oregon Pinot Noir Picks." We always knew it was an exceptional wine at an exceptional value, and we're honored to receive the recognition.
Unfortunately for consumers, the 2017 is sold out (you guys thought it was good, too!), but we have some good news: we've just released the 2018 vintage.
Crafted from 100% estate-grown fruit, we selected barrels from almost every block of the vineyard to craft this wine, using fruit typically destined for other cuvées. The result is a beautiful, small-production representation of our unique vineyard site. Just 160 cases were produced so we don't expect this to last long--get it while you can!
Cases always receive a 15% discount. Club members save more!
We recently hosted a great group of writers at the Le Cadeau estate vineyard, where owner Tom Mortimer shared a lot information on soil, clones, and the history of the video. Check out this video for a few words on the special Witzel soil type we have here on the southern tip of Parrett Mountain.
Vineyard tours are available by appointment and are a great way to connect with our beautiful wines. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Veraison at the vineyard!
Portions of our vineyard have begun this distinctive color change that signals the onset of ripening. During veraison, the vine transports energy stores from the roots into the grapes. Acid levels begin to fall and chlorophyll is replaced by anthocyanins (in red grapes) or carotenoids (in white grapes), as well as sugars and other nutrients. It's also really pretty.
Next stop: harvest!
Of Le Cadeau Vineyard, she writes:
"Excellent estate-grown Pinot Noir-Burgundian sensibility meets Willamette terroir. ... Le Cadeau, like my CA favorite Gary Farrell, is a Pinot geek’s winery, one that’ll give you a sense of how much microscopic changes in a site’s exposure or soil specifics will change this sensitive, expressive grape."
Read more on Paste Magazine's website.
In 1995, Tom Mortimer acquired a small recycling business in Dundee, Oregon. While his day job in the paper and packaging industry continued in Minneapolis, he and his wife, Deb, would make occasional weekend trips to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to meet with their Dundee business partner. They soon fell in love with the beauty of Oregon wine country and began to dream the Oregon Dream: living there and owning a premium Pinot noir vineyard.
They began looking for Willamette Valley property in 1996 and, a year later, found an uncultivated 28-acre parcel on the south slope of Parrett Mountain just a few miles east of Newberg in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The property felt right. Nothing grew there other than poison oak, blackberries, and scrub oak. Over-grown brush obscured any sense of the valley below. Not to be deterred, Tom said to Deb, “I think this will make a great vineyard for Pinot noir!”
Her response: “How would you know?”
The Mortimers worked with consultants and borrowed wisdom and insight from a few Oregon winemakers they had befriended. They quickly discovered the site was incredibly rocky. One vineyard adviser commented, “I have no idea how you’re going to get posts into the ground!”
After monitoring site temperatures for a month, another consultant gave the climate thumbs-up: the temperatures at the site were consistent with other high-quality Oregon Pinot noir vineyards. Harry Peterson-Nedry (owner and winemaker of Chehalem wines) provided encouragement by saying, “The rocks are very exciting!”
The land had never been cultivated, so it needed to be cleared. The first ten acres of land were cleared during the summer of ’97 and eleven additional acres a year later. An incredible view south to Salem and the Eola hills emerged.
In the spring of 1999, Diane Kenworthy, then the vineyard manager for Oregon Grape Management, planted the first six acres. The initial plantings of Pinot noir included roughly 1.75 acres each of Pommard clone and Dijon clones 667 and 777. In addition, a ¾ acre east-facing parcel was planted as a mixed-clone block consisting of Mariafeld (a Swiss Pinot noir clone), Pommard, and Dijon clones 777, 113, and 115. That section of the vineyard was established as a rootstock test site, planted with different Pinot noir clones on different rootstocks: 3309, 101-14, Riparia Glore, and 4453.
Over dinner one night, Tom asked Diane, “How do you know if you have a good site, or a mediocre site?”
She replied, “Oh, that’s easy, just plant it and wait 10 years!”
Which is exactly what the Mortimers did.
The 2002 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir was bottled in January of 2004 and released in June of 2005, eight years and four months after the property was purchased. Confident the vineyard would produce excellent wines, the Mortimers planted an additional 4 acres of Pinot noir that year--Dijon clones 114 and 115--bringing the total vineyard size to 10 acres of grapevines.
Since then, Le Cadeau has continued to add new plant material and increased the number of vines per acre. Plantings now include traditional heritage clones of Pinot noir, some of which debuted in the U.S. in the late 1800’s. The warm southwestern part of the vineyard is comprised primarily of certified-Swan Pinot noir clone. This is also known as clone UCD-97 and is likely the first certified-Swan to be planted in Oregon. In addition, Le Cadeau is testing 420A rootstock, a fickle rootstock known for the desirable combination of drought resistance, extremely low vigor, retaining leaves late into the season, and great vine balance.