I've long heard about Cameron Winery's nebbiolo project, but never until recently did I see any bottled wine, much less have a taste. I'd heard of nebbiolo vines grown in the Clos de Bess section of the estate vineyard in the Dundee Hills, perhaps the only local planting (please correct me if that's wrong). I'd heard of pruning issues with the vines over the years, where apparently the first few buds on a cane aren't fruitful. Something you might know or learn if you lived in Italy's Piedmont and prune accordingly, meaning different than you might with pinot noir. I'd even seen a small barrel of nebbiolo wine in the Cameron cellar a few years ago on a visit, so I knew wine existed. I'd even heard of small amounts of bottled wine making it to a few local restaurants, but in this string of hearsay this is perhaps the most spurious.
But it was only in December that I saw bottles, several in fact, of 2006 Cameron Nebbiolo Dundee Hills, a beautifully simple label that features a tricycle. The broader significance of that is a mystery to me, but suffice it to say I'm not going to sincerely flatter Tricycle Magazine (the Buhddist review!) with my own Tricycle label. Actually, Jennifer put the kibosh on that, but I saw this label and that's what I thought. I like the label.
So how is the wine? Really, really good. This is like no domestic nebbiolo I've tried. We always want to compare things, but this isn't Barolo or Barbaresco. It's Oregon nebbiolo that's high toned and perfumed, rich in the mouth with signature nebbiolo tannin, nice length and savor that would be delicious to try over the course of an evening. Unfortunately, I only had a taste. There isn't much of this wine. It's precious, for sure. But even at the $50+ price tag it's very interesting and something worth trying at least. I sure would love to hear about other people growing nebbiolo locally. It's such a terrific grape and so unknown as a varietal here in the US. That should change.