When I first visited the Le Cadeau Vineyard with owner Deb Mortimer, it was hard to imagine the amount of work they went through to establish this vineyard. It’s on a very wild, rocky plot of land on the crest of Parrett Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. She described how it was mostly forested, with a thick, tangled, impassible understory of blackberry bramble. She also described the process they used to get vines planted in the rocky earth there – it involved jackhammers! Deb laughed that they called it the “Black Hole” for years while they waited for their investment to bring any returns. It even showed up once on a vineyard map of Oregon labeled as “Black Hole!” But alas, the vineyard has come to fruition and has earned its rightful name: Le Cadeau, or, “The Gift.” Rocheaux (“rock” in French) is the name of the western-most block of the vineyard where the soil is rockiest. It looks a lot like Chateauneuf du Pape just to give you an idea. In my opinion, this block – with all its accompanying minerality – yields the vineyard’s most interesting, complex wines.
Quite honestly, this one is hard for me to let go. I only have the one, and it made quite an impression on me in its youth. It was the first wine I tried from Le Cadeau, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. You better snatch this one up before I change my mind!