Le Cadeau Equinoxe Pinot Noir 2012
|Neal Martin||89||Drink: 2016 - 2026|
|The 2012 Pinot Noir Equinoxe was made by Jim Sanders and sees 65% in new French oak for 11 months. That new wood is neatly carried by the mixture of red and black fruit on the nose with hints of dark chocolate and smoke developing in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied and more muscular than the Diversité or the Cote Est. There is much more substance here, although I prefer the precision and finesse shown by the Diversité. Here there is a pleasant black pepper tinge on the persistent aftertaste. I would afford this 18 months in bottle to see if it can muster just a little more refinement.
Visit numero uno was to Le Cadeau Vineyards, on a brisk Monday morning with two weeks of intensive visits and tastings stretching far ahead. Things were going swimmingly with proprietor Tom Mortimer and winemaker Jim Sanders for..oh...around 10 minutes. That was when I failed to spot a perspex disc over my glass and spilled the wine onto and into my Samsung laptop. Death by Pinot Noir. For me, this was like kicking away the crutch of a one-legged man and thankfully, Wines of Oregon, or precisely their iPad, came to my rescue and essentially saved this entire report. At times like these, it is important to banish thoughts of any crisis and focus on the wines, especially because there is much to admire here at Le Cadeau. "The signature of the vintage is very strong here," Sanders explained. "Though I believe that the 2011 shows more vineyard expression." This was not the first time that I heard such sentiment. Despite the computer trauma, that did not avert my senses from what was an impressive set of 2012s that appeared to revel in the benevolent growing season. Indeed both Le Cadeau and their Aubichon label offers many pure, elegant expressions of Pinot Noir from their 14 acres of vine located on the rocky, mainly basalt (Witzel) soils of the Parrett Mountain, demonstrating the necessary restraint to avoid any overblown or exaggerated aromas or flavors.