2007 Le Cadeau Vineyard Pinot Noir Rocheux Oregon

Le Cadeau Vineyard Pinot Noir Rocheux Oregon

Tom Mortimer is a Burgundy freak and that's what brought him to Oregon's Willamette Valley. He was long fascinated by the single eastern-facing hillside that produces the Pinot Noir by which all others are measured. But he was equally enchanted by the boutique, artisanal winemaking that seemed to unveil widely variable interpretations of a single parcel from the same vintage.

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 first 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.'"

Le Cadeau Vineyards
Le Cadeau Vineyards
It took a few John Deeres, some friends with picks and shovels, and Tom himself more than two years to plant the prized Pinot Noir at Le Cadeau. One of the results was the 2007 Rocheux, a blend of Pommard and Dijon-777, displays gobs of red cherries with hints of Asian spice. Earthiness and some unexpected muscle round out another beautifully crafted effort from Harry Peterson-Nedry and Mike Eyres.

Try this with this oven-roasted pork in a mushroom teriyaki sauce over spaetzle.