Le Cadeau Visit (Willamette Valley)

Last Tuesday, Tom and Deb Mortimer were kind enough to accommodate a couple of extras at an afternoon tasting at their vineyard on Parrett Mountain. It’s always a treat to watch the sun go down at the end of a gorgeous day. The addition of good wine just makes is that much more enjoyable and Tom opened some very nice Pinot Noir.

2007 Aubichon Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir: Inviting floral notes mingled with slightly sweet red fruit and a hint of Asian spice. A very clean attack of red cherry and raspberry. The acidity and fruit linger on the finish. This was showing very well. It appears to have the verve to accommodate several years of aging. But why wait?

2007 Le Cadeau Equinox Pinot Noir: A mixture of red and dark fruit, with noticeable spiciness on the nose. Red cherry / black raspberry profile. Good balance and nice acidty. The baking spices return on the slightly tart finish. Very nice.

2008 Le Cadeau Serendipity Pinot Noir: This was made by Tony Rynders. Dark fruit combined with a potpourri mix of wild flowers and spices. A full silky mouth feel. Sweet tannins coat the tongue and persist on an extended finish. This gives the impression of a diamond in the rough and, like many ‘08’s, needs time. It has all the ingredients to be exceptional when everything comes together in a few years.

2006 Le Cadeau Rocheaux Pinot Noir: Dark red ripe fruit complemented with a hint of rose petal. This is succulent and is big without being hot. I’m thinking black raspberry preserves. One of the tasters picked this as their favorite wine of the group. Personally, I prefer the agility and preciseness of the ‘07’s.

2009 Le Cadeau Merci Pinot Noir: Tom asked if I would like to taste an ’09, but before I could answer, he said that the correct answer is YES. He was right. Popped and poured. This had incredible floral aromatics right out of the bottle. Obviously a youngster, I can’t do any better than to quote John Osburn, from his post a couple of days ago about the Evesham Wood WV, “definitely a little richer, sweeter and rounder than the '08 or '07 were on release; but not quite as sweet as, and definitely with more structure than, the '06.” An impressive showing at this point.

This was another thoroughly enjoyable visit with Tom and Deb. They are such great hosts. This should be a destination for anyone visiting the Willamette Valley.

You are certainly a loyal fan Greg. What’s the difference between Aubichon and Le Cadeau? Were any of these made by the same winemaker [stirthepothal.gif] ? One of my concerns is that most 09s (if not theirs) will show like 06s.


Aubichon is a business venture between Tom Mortimer and Jim Sanders. Jim is the winemaker. He was also the winemaker for the '07 Le Cadeau Equinoxe. Harry Peterson-Nedry made the '06 Rocheux and Tony Rynders made the '08 Serendipity. The '09 Merci was a different winemaker (Tom mentioned who, but I can’t remember).

Based on what I had heard, I shared your general concern about the '09’s. Hence, my positive surprise with the two that I tasted last week – this one at Le Cadeau and the D.H. Porth made by Jim Maresh (I’ll get notes posted soon). Two wines don’t make a vintage; however, these two would not be confused with most '06’s.

Great notes, I need to get out and see Tom & Deb too. They’re a lot of fun and thier wines deliver the goods if you prefer vibrant nuanced elegance over heavy monster fruit and oak like I do.

I have been a bit concerned about this as well (although not too concerned, since there are still so many '07s and '08s to buy). It’s obviously very, very early to call any trends but my impression from a few scattered data points is that the '09s tend to have some of the sweetness (especially compared to '07s and '08s of course) but not as much of the fatness of the '06s. Seems from Greg’s comments and sources that a few others agree. So far, of course, we have only talked about some of the more elegant-style producers.

Tom is a gracious host, I was lucky enough to meet with him some years ago and go through barrel samples, and then enjoy the sunset at his place right in his vineyard. Great guy, hands down.