Heirloom Cameo is our barrel fermented Chardonnay. Or as Dena would explain it: “This wine wraps you in an elegant silk scarf and instantly makes you feel really good - about being you.”

The wine was fermented in a single large format French oak barrel or “puncheon.” The goal of this fermentation is to enhance the breadth and depth of the wine through contact with oak and extended yeast or “lees” aging.

Stylistically, this wine is made to be enjoyed throughout its time in bottle. Upon release the wine is fresh with pungent aromas and a broad mouth feel, followed by a crisp and satisfying finish. We expect this wine to age gracefully for several years and will reward a laddered approach to monitoring its development.

Heirloom Cameo Chardonnay

The Chardonnay for this wine is estate grown in 1 small block. The blend is about half Dijon clone 76 and half Dijon clone 95. This block was hand harvested on October 1st and thanks to a cold cellar, completed primary fermentation the following spring.


The Vintage: Some like it hot, and if that is what you are into, then 2015 is your kind of vintage. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that. A clean, fully developed and relatively expressive vintage, 2015 (much like 2014) offers up a significant contrast to the frigidly cold yet scintillating vintages of 2010 and 2011. In the context of Pinot Noir vintages, there are showers and then there are growers.

We have grown wine in nearly the hottest and certainly the coldest vintages ever recorded in the Willamette Valley within a 6 year span. We have triumphed over vintages colder than Champagne, took what appeared to be rotted Chardonnay from Typhoon Pabuk and produced a Botrytis desert wine to rival Sauternes, sweltered under elevated evening temperatures and summer drought conditions that teased an unprecedented early harvest window. And, to borrow a line from Frank, “We did it our way.”


While some experienced pre-mature fermentation again this year, Ernie held out for rain before he pulled the trigger on Cluster Pluck 2015 (He looked so determined at midnight under the full moon doing the rain dance in block 2.) “Hey, whatever works...” Once again, this year the conditions were right for a sticky. This time it is Our Muse Viognier emulating the traditional late harvest beerenauslese style – complete with gold capsule.

You can read the full Harvest After Action Report (AAR) on our FLOG (Farming bLOG):

http://amalierobert.blogspot.com/2015/12/amalie-robert-estate-vintage-update.html


Tasting Notes: Heirloom daffodil yellow offers elegant scents of Lilly of the Valley, star fruit, Asian pear, Myer lemon custard and brioche. Elegant and lithe on the palate, with subtle nuances harmoniously juxtaposed with acid, tannin and the gift of extended barrel aging build to a voluminous crescendo. Elegant, integrated, refined, and a seamless finish endures.


Culinary Inclinations: Squid ink pasta sporting seared jumbo prawns tossed in extra Virgin olive oil, topped with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dusting of sweet Hungarian paprika.


Heirloom Cameo Accolades:

2014 Heirloom Cameo

BFC yellow. Unbridled aromas of calla lily, freshly grated ginger, honeycomb and just crushed variegated lemon thyme intrigue the frontal lobe as the svelte and vivacious wine explores your palate. The wines breadth is only matched by its depth and evolving flavors and textures as the mid palate yields to an effortlessly long crescendo.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Limpid yellow. Ripe pear, Meyer lemon, vanilla and smoky minerals on the deeply perfumed nose, along with hints of jasmine and candied ginger that build in the background. Supple and well-concentrated, offering expansive citrus and orchard fruit flavors complemented by brioche and toasty lees nuances. The floral note repeats emphatically on the very long, supple finish, which is energized by a jolt of zesty acidity.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, February 2018 - 92 points

          - Wine Enthusiast, October 2017 - 92 points

2013 Heirloom Cameo

Lemon Chiffon radiates essence while a choreographed profusion of star fruit, guava, passion fruit, pineapple, Meyer lemon and lime zest relentlessly tease. Articulate, deft and precise palate presence reveals a mutually exclusive yet collectively exhaustive kaleidoscopic array of flavors and textures providing an intimation of a voluptuous form as if silk veiled in afterglow. A purposefully and intentioned finish lingers longingly.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Light green-tinged yellow. Musky citrus pith orchard fruits and honey on the assertively perfumed nose; hints of toasted brioche and vanilla emerge with air. Juicy and expansive on the palate offering smoke-tinged poached pear Meyer lemon and candied ginger flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Finishes on a zesty orange note displaying very good toasty persistence and a lingering suggestion of honeysuckle.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2017 - 91 points

Estate grown and bottled. Dijon clones 76 and 95. Barrel fermented in a single French oak puncheon. Moderately light golden straw color in the glass. The nose is replete with aromas of lemon rind, apple and prickly pear. Both saline and earth charged, with primary flavors of lemon, pineapple, melon and subtle oak. Not a mainstream flavor profile and very individualistic, finishing with some length. Could be highly desirable or just unusual depending on your viewpoint, but in any case the wine is well composed.

          - William "Rusty" Gaffney, M.D., PinotFile, September 2016 - 90 points

          - The Wine Advocate, July 2016 - 91 points

2012 Heirloom Cameo

​50 shades of Alabaster. Scintillating aromas of Meyer lemon zest, purple passion fruit and carambola sheathed in a suggestion of five spice and pheromone provide intrigue. The deftly balanced palate is silky chiffon with latent acidity providing a gentle lift, all the while the effortlessly evolving textures and aromas vex. The enduring finish echoes the virtue of presence without weight. 70 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright gold. Deep-pitched aromas of ripe orchard and pit fruits complicated by suggestions of honey and almond paste. Broad and fleshy but animated on the palate offering fleshy nectarine and pear nectar flavors and hints of candied ginger vanilla and buttered toast. Finishes smooth broad and long delivering a repeating ginger flourish and strong cut.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2017 - 90 points

This barrel-fermented, estate-grown wine matches its luscious citrus and pineapple fruit to veins of butter, caramel and toast. It’s perfectly balanced, lively and fresh, even after being open for a full 24 hours. The style, now becoming particular to many Oregon Chardonnays, sits squarely on the fence between the hyper-lushness of California and the minerality of northern Burgundies.

          - Wine Enthusiast, June 2015 - 92 points

The 2012 Chardonnay Heirloom Cameo is whole-cluster pressed and fermented in 500-liter puncheons and underwent partial malo before maturation in barrel without lees-stirring for 14 months. It has an attractive bouquet with citrus lemon, candied orange peel and yellow flowers that is nicely defined and neatly integrated the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a rich and generous entry, waxy in texture with touches of toffee apple and shaved almond on the finish. This is a very well-crafted Chardonnay packed full of flavor. Only 70 cases produced.

          - The Wine Advocate, March 2015 - 90 points

2011 Heirloom Cameo

Canary diamond yellow introduces supple aromas of seared pineapple, Meyer lemon zest and Easter lily. The mid-palate is focused and controlled as if ensconced in silk stockings, while layers of flavors and textures transcend minerality preserved by cleansing acidity. 75 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

The 2011 Chardonnay Heirloom Cameo is the second vintage released, whole-cluster pressed and fermented in a 500-liter puncheon with batonnage. Unlike the 1012, this went through full malolactic. It has a paler color than the 2012, but perhaps greater delineation and precision on the nose with citrus peel, honeysuckle and juniper berries. The palate is well defined with crisp acidity, touches of almond and toffee apple, the leesy element coming through subtly on the persistent finish. Low key now, but I bet you this ages with a little more panache than the more outgoing 2012. We’ll see!

          - The Wine Advocate, March 2015 - 91 points

2009 Heirloom Cameo

Understated pale yellow surprises with strong aromas of cherry orchard bloom, orange marmalade, cleaved pineapple, freshly cut Champagne mango, and Meyer lemon curd. The palate sensation is broad and textured with an expansive progression and delineated finish of crisp and echoing acidity. 80 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

A flinty scent of seashells enlivens golden delicious apple aromas in this lean, bequiling white. It has a voluptuous texture, with juicy pear flavors supported by a clean mineral line. That mineral foundation focuses it through long finish. For roast cod.

          - Wine & Spirits, October 2011 – 93 points, Year’s Best Chardonnay article

Lush and toasty, this barrel-fermented Chardonnay offers an explosion of semi-tropical fruits that coat the tongue without tiring the palate. Almost Rhône-like—it could pass for a Roussanne in a blind tasting—it’s exotic and complex.

          - Wine Enthusiast, December 2011 - 92 points

Light straw color and clear in the glass. Enticing aromas of white peaches, lemon curd, white pears and buttery oak. Delicious and juicy array of white peach, Asian pear, baked apple and pineapple flavors, honed with just the right amount of mineral-driven acidity for brightness, and offering a silky mouth feel that excites the senses. A classic, and maybe the best Oregon Chardonnay I have ever had. Exceptional rating.

          - PinotFile, November 2011, Exceptional rating

The Heirloom Cameo may be the best New World Chardonnay I have ever tasted!

          - Dennis Sienko – Bend Wine Cellar, May 2011