Getting ourselves ready for another exciting Oregon Wine Month, we bring you one of the storied produces of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley. Founded in 1992 by Paul Gerrie, he thoughtfully named his four estate vineyards after the four females of his family, Eileen, Jessie, Louise and Marjorie. Gerrie's son, Tom, now leads the Cristom that relies on winemaking talents of Steve Doerner, who started in 1992 after spending more than ten years at Calera. Steve has a penchant for producing top class Pinot Noir that has both weight and elegance. Not many people can say that they have experienced more than 30 Pinot Noir vintages. Steve has travelled the world, visiting everywhere from Chile to Spain and has now been at Cristom for more than 20 years.
I was hugely impressed with his awesome new wines. Most of the new Pinot Noir wines were sourced from the very warm 2015 vintage — one that saw really nice growing conditions and optimal ripeness for most Willamette Valley grapes. A seriously good follow up to the outstanding 2015 bottling, the 2015 Cristom Vineyards ‘Mt. Jefferson Cuvee’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 92) shows everything you want in an outstanding entry level Pinot Noir wine, with marvelous range and richness. A downright stunner is the new 2015 Cristom Vineyards ‘Eileen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) which has gobs of mouth-watering acidity and beautiful range. This is truly one for the cellar. Learn more about this fantastic lineup of Pinot Noirs at https://www.cristomvineyards.com Here are the outstanding new wines by Cristom Vineyards.
2015 Cristom Vineyards ‘Mt. Jefferson Cuvee’ Pinot Noir- Showing a touch of brown on the hue, the wine begins with aromas of thyme, black truffle crudo and suggestions of black cherry compote. The mouthfeel is fantastic as the wine displays ripe flavors of black raspberry, wild blackberry and a touch of teaberry with wild mushroom risotto. The range here, astringency and acidity is lovely. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Cristom Vineyards ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This is sourced from the only vineyard not displaced when Cristom was first purchased in 1992. The Pinot Noir has a deeper overall core than the ‘Mt. Jefferson Cuvee’ bottling. The wine opens with a bright bouquet of shiitake mushroom, rosemary, boysenberry jelly and a touch of milk chocolate. The aromatics here bring you back to the glass for more. The weight and tension to the wine is absolutely outstanding as black fruits connect with black truffle crudo, milk chocolate shavings and blackberry jam flavors. Delicious and lithe, this will have a long time in the cellar. Drink 2018-2030- 94
2015 Cristom Vineyards ‘Eileen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The Eileen Vineyard is located at the back end and high elevation portion of the Cristom property and has a very strong Maritime effect from breezes from the Pacific Ocean. This begins with ripe aromas of cherry cola, wild mushroom and thyme with a hint of orange zest. The combination of red fruits, astringency and citrus on the mid-palate makes this nearly impossible to resist. The long, lip-smacking and red fruit driven finish impresses. There is a wonderful finesse and feminine quality to this gorgeous wine. Drink 2018-2030- 94
2014 Cristom Vineyards ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir- The 2014 ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir by Cristom is another outstanding release by this storied Oregon estate. The wine opens with a rich bouquet of wet earth, black truffle oil, and wild blackberry cobbler. The mid-palate is lithe, rich and downright delicious. Black raspberry cordial, Earl Grey tea, peat moss and teaberry flavors impress. This shows great range and poise from this warm vintage. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2015 Cristom Vineyards ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This great vineyard was first planted in 1993 and was named for Cristom winegrower & owner Tom Gerrie's great-grandmother, Louise Dinkelspiel. This translucent colored Pinot Noir begins with aromatics reminiscent of roasted date, red cherry preserves and wild mushroom with a citrus edge. Balanced and distinctly feminine, the wine shows red raspberry, cram-pomegranate and orange rind flavors that sit alongside some brisk minerality. Drink 2018-2030- 92
2015 Cristom Vineyards ‘Jessie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This vineyard, planted in 1994 and set at 320-550 feet, was named after om Gerrie's greatgrandmother Jessie Summers, after the Gerrie family saw great potential in planting a steep, east-facing hillside to a variety of Pinot Noir clones. The Pinot Noir begins with aromas of cranberry, teaberry and wild thyme. Lightly flavored with red cherry starburst candy, orange zest and a touch of peat moss, this is delicate Pinot Noir that will cellar well over the next decade. Drink 2018-2030- 92