Tom Mortimer is a Burgundy freak, and that's what brought him to Oregon's Willamette Valley. He was long fascinated by that single eastern-facing hillside that produces the Pinot Noir by which all others are measured.
When we visited Mortimer on Parrett Mountain in 2005, he told us how he took this rock-filled 28-acre parcel and made it into one of the most unique Pinot Noir vineyards in the Willamette Valley. First, he hired a team to do a soil study. The results were both fascinating and a little daunting. "They told me the property might make great Pinot Noir. That was good." Then Mortimer raised his eyebrows. "But they also said, 'This soil is so rocky, I don't have a clue how you are going to get posts in the ground.'"
But Mortimer's vision went beyond just clearing the way for a new Willamette Valley vineyard, he was equally enchanted by the boutique, artisanal winemaking that seemed to unveil widely variable interpretations of a single parcel from the same vintage. Take any five guys making first growth Vosne-Romanee "Les Chaumes," and he'd find five different brushstrokes. True to Tom's Burgundian vision, each year, each tiny bottling bears the brushstroke of a different winemaker.
For the The 2007 Pinot Noir "Diversité" Mortimer commissioned super-talented Pinot Noir winemakers -- husband-and-wife team Cheryl Francis and Sam Tannahill -- to make their own interpretations of the brilliant fruit off of this astounding vineyard. Blended from 10 of 16 rigorously selected barrels, Cheryl and Sam have crafted what may evolve into the finest Diversité cuvee produced to date.
It took two years and more than a little madness to clear the land. But, Tom's gamble has paid off with this sensational Diversité bottling.
Le Cadeau Vineyards
"Diversité" represents a mixture of fruit from all seven Pinot Noir clones throughout the vineyard. Deep ruby color. Sweet currant aromas and red fruit aromas, with cherry high notes. Lovely texture on the palate with flavors of ripe red fruits, spice. Excellent long and persistent finish with ripe tannins. A forward cuvee, this wine is true to form for winemakers Cheryl Francis and Sam Tannahill. Drink now-2014.
--WineAccess Travel Log