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Latest Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs from Cristom Vineyards

What could I possibly write that has not already been said about this iconic Willamette Valley winery? The Cristom wines have an unrivaled string of successful vintages dating back to its founding in 1992. The winery holds the unique distinction among Willamette Valley producers of besides Pinot Noir also offering exceptional Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Syrah as well as Old Vine Pinot Noir from other prestigious grower vineyards. Diving the success of Cristom Vineyards has been founder and owner Paul Gerrie, his son Tom (who has taken over as manager), winemaker Steve Doerner, and viticulturist Mark Feltz who have been with Cristom Vineyards since its beginning.

Cristom Vineyards is located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The estate Pinot Noir is all planted on volcanic soils at the higher elevations of the estate property. The Pinot Noir vineyards other than Marjorie are planted to high density (about 2,300 vines per acre) and yields are strictly reduced. Marjorie Vineyard was part of the original vineyard existing when the property was acquired and has been kept original at 605 vines per acre. Marjorie is the only Cristom vineyard planted on its own roots. The other four estate vineyards, named after family members, include Louise, Jessie, Eileen and Emile and vineyard-designated Pinot Noir have been produced from each of those five vineyards. Another vineyard, Paul Gerrie, named for the winery founder, was established in 2014 and is now also a vineyard-designate.. The Cristom Vineyards website offers an interactive map of the vineyards with details of each vineyard.

Blends of Pinot Noir have also been offered, often using additional fruit from other growers, including Mt. Jefferson Cuvée, Estate and Sommer’s Reserve.

The mode of Pinot Noir vinification involves the use of whole cluster fermentation. Doerner is a minimalist, working with native yeasts and without a cold soak or filtration, with only minimal fining and racking. Age-ability is a consistent feature of Cristom Pinot Noirs.

Pinot Noir clones vary in each vineyard but all contain Pommard and Dijon clones with some planted in addition with Wädenswil.

Tastings are available at the winery daily by reservation with special experience options available. Visit the website at All of the current single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and older vintages are available on the website store. Take your pick of the 2019s, each one is exceptional.

As you undoubtedly know by now, the 2019 vintage in the Willamette Valley was among the best among those of the past decade and the 2019 Cristom Vineyards Pinot Noir lineup reflects the blessing of that vintage.

NV Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Eola-Amity Hills Pint Noir

13.5% alc., $40. This blend has a focus on estate fruit with added grapes sourced from some of the finest vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills. The flagship wine of the Cristom brand that is an embodiment of the Cristom style. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is both savory and fruity offering aromas of black cherry, forest floor and burnt tobacco. The flavor profile mimics the nose with added flavors of peppery spices and tobacco. Open and giving with modest tannins and finish. This is a solid wine but does not mimic the finish of the other vineyard-designated wines. Score: 92

2019 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $75. Vineyard is situated at the highest elevation of the original Cristom estate rising to over 735 feet. The most wind-swept vines on the estate property. First established in 1997, now 22 acres of Pinot Noir. Clones are Pommard, Wߐdenswil, Mt. Eden, Swan, Calera and Dijon 114, 115 and 777. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Glorious aromas of fresh cherry, red berry, red rose, sap and pipe smoke. Very open from the get-go with mid-weight flavors of dark red cherry and ripe strawberry accented with exotic spices. Noticeably expressive on entry and mid-palate with a silky texture. Impeccable harmony with a long, quenching and taunting finish. Score: 95

2019 Cristom Jessie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $75. 11.53 acres first planted in 1994. Very steep with a diverse range of volcanic soils. Pommard and Dijon 113, 114, 115, 667, and 777. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. This wine stands out among the lineup for its darker fruit profile. Aromas of dark berries, purple rose, worn leather and burnt tobacco. The wine becomes more civilized over time in the glass, sporting mid-weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, boysenberry and black tea annotated with a whisper of oak. Slightly gruff tannins with a good cut of acidity on the length finish. Cellaring will offer rewards. Score: 94

2019 Cristom Louise Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $75. This vineyard was established in 1993. Planted to the lowest slopes of the Cristom estate, the vines are now the oldest at Cristom (more than 26-years-old). 12.3 acres of Pinot Noir. Clones are Pommard and Dijon 113, 114, 115, and 777. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A sensual nose offers aromas of black cherry, warm pastry, spice cabinet and toast. Very charming with middleweight intensity, offering dark cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate and clove flavors. there is a hardy tannic spine and an extremely long finish replete with taunting fruit. Score: 94

2019 Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $75. Distinctive at Cristom for its lower-density plantings, very small, highly concentrated clusters and wide spacing rows that harken back to the earliest days of Oregon viticulture. Established in 1982 with own-rooted Pinot Noir, this 8.4-acre vineyard has been mostly re-planted due to Phylloxera. Clones are Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon 114, 115, and 777. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Terrific scent of black cherry pie, dusty rose, clove and tilled earth. Very provocative, with a vivid core of bright red cherry fruit married to supportive tannins. Will be amazing young or with age. The teasing finish last over 30 seconds. Marjorie is often the Cristom Pinot Noir I want to date. Score: 96

2019 Cristom Paul Gerrie Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $75. Development of this vineyard began in 2014. Now more than 22 acres of Pinot Noir planted in deep volcanic soils. Clones are Pommard and Dijon 113, 114, 115, 667, and 777. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A whole cluster inspired nose with aromas of red rose, bramble, sweet pipe smoke and pine sap. The spicy strawberry and cherry fruits have a discreet richness and retain their goodness through the long finish. A spirited wine with balanced tannins and easy approachability. Score: 93

2018 Cristom Old Vine Series Arcus Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 225 cases, $45. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Highly nuanced nose with aromas of dark cherry, muddy earth, cardamom spice, rare beef and floral goodness. Intense entry attack of dark red cherry and black raspberry fruits with a subtle compliment of earth and oak. Bright acidity fuels the freshness and juiciness of the wine. Notable tannins contribute the likelihood of age ability. The finish is impressive for its persistence. Score: 94

2018 Cristom Old Vine Series Hyland Vineyard McMinnville Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 175 cases, $45. Wadenswil and Coury clones. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very seductive whole cluster driven nose of cherry, beef rub spices, rose petal and a light imprint of oak. Absolutely delightful with a mid-weight core of well-spiced black cherry fruit framed by moderately firm tannins and acidic verve. Terrific harmony with a lip-smacking finish of striking length. Exhilarating when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. The whole monty and a tremendous value. Score: 97

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