Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir 2014

MT. JEFFERSON CUVEE PINOT NOIR 2014

Description and Flavor Profile: Cristom Vineyards named our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Mt. Jefferson Cuve?e, in 1994 after Mount Jefferson (10,495 feet, 3,199 m), located in the Cascade Range, due east of the winery and dramatically visible from our tasting room. ‘Mt. Jeff’ is crafted in a vibrant and expressive style and has earned a reputation for consistency making it among the most popular wines on restaurant wine lists in America.

Mt. Jefferson Cuvee is a blend of the Cristom estate Pinot Noir vineyards along with exceptional fruit we source from neighboring vineyards in the Willamette Valley. The vineyard sites we have thoughtfully selected over the years are planted on a variety of soil types, elevations and aspects and represent the Willamette Valley Appellation as a broader whole. The vineyards are farmed by committed winegrowers we are proud to partner with, some for more than two decades, each and every one making a contribution to the ‘Mt. Jeff”. Each vineyard site adds to the character, fruit and structure of the wine, giving Mt. Jeff its deserved reputation as one of the most stylistically consistent Pinot Noirs in the world.

The 2014 vintage will be remembered as one of the great vintages in Willamette Valley winegrowing history. A warm, but nearly ideal growing season delivered the rare combination of abundant quantity and exceptional quality fruit that developed into aromatic wines of balance, depth and concentration. The season got off to a warm and dry start with the earliest budbreak and bloom we have recorded at the Cristom Estate in our history to that point – a full two weeks earlier than our twenty- year average. Growing conditions were mostly dry and warmer than normal throughout the spring providing a great environment for flowering and fruit set and the vineyards produced heavy clusters and large berries. The warm weather conditions continued throughout the summer leading to record high temperatures and the earliest start date to harvest in over two decades. The 2014 vintage broke the previous record for heat accumulation during the growing season, set in 1992.

With such exceptional vine fruitfulness and set, we made the deliberate decision to thin more modestly than we historically have per vine, leaving more fruit spread out across the canopy. Our reasoning behind keeping more clusters on the vine in 2014, was given the unusually warm growing season, we were trying to gain hang time at the end of the season. If we thinned more aggressively as we do in an average year, we feared we would shorten the season and the fruit would result in high sugars and green flavors. We hung just over 2.8 tons/acre in many areas of our estate vineyards as opposed to our twenty-year average of 2.0/tons acre. Our gamble paid off, and the expected abundant quantity and additional hang time combined for dark and concentrated fruit with balanced acids and sugars without experiencing any heat stress. We picked the estate Pinot Noir grapes between September 9th and September 27th, 2014. Truly a year to remember, the 2014 harvest gave us a range of wines from refreshing and vibrant to more rich, powerful and concentrated wines that remain graceful with balance and moderate alcohol.

In the glass, the 2014 Mt. Jefferson Cuvee is showing like a classic Willamette Valley vintage with bright, red-fruit aromatics, elegant, balanced tannins and persistent acidity. We found impressions of pomegranate, Rainier strawberries, raspberries, Dark Hudson cherries, cocoa powder and sweet pipe tobacco along with earthy and dusty notes that are complex and intriguing. It is a mid-weight wine that is defined by its balance of smooth, seamless tannins and luscious acidity with good persistence.

8,300 cases of Mt. Jefferson produced in 2014. A defining ‘old-world’ style of winemaking essential for top restaurant wine lists seeking a true bridge between Burgundian and American-style Pinot Noir. A 40% Whole cluster fermentation blend of 63% Estate featuring fruit from all 4 of our single vineyards and a balance of fruit from some of the most celebrated vineyards in Oregon including Arcus, Canary Hill, Guadalupe, Carter and Hyland.

Varietal: Pinot Noir

AVA: Willamette Valley

Barrel Aging: Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels (10% new oak)

Alcohol: 13.5%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2024

Serving Temperature: 13ºC/55ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

2014 reviews: JamesSuckling.com 94 pts; Vinous 91 pts; Wine Advocate 90 pts

Pinot Noir 'Marjorie Vineyard' 2014

PINOT NOIR 'MARJORIE VINEYARD' 2014

Description and Flavor Profile: In 1992, founder of Cristom Vineyards Paul Gerrie purchased a piece of ground that he saw tremendous potential to grow world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. The property was an east-facing hillside in the Eola Hills on primarily basalt soils rising up from 200 feet to 600 feet (61 m to 183 m). The upper field was planted to Pinot Noir in 1982 but it had been abandoned in the late 1980’s. Paul would re-name the upper field Marjorie Vineyard, in honor of his late mother, and the vineyard would go on to produce the first estate fruit for the winery in 1994.

Marjorie Vineyard can be the brightest and most red-fruit driven of the four estate Pinot Noirs, often supported by a layered and textured structure. A true example of terroir, the soil, elevation, climate, and vine age meet and produce a wine capable of great depth, complexity, and long-term age ability. The first of the single vineyards to be sold out, Marjorie has achieved a rightfully earned cult status, consistently generating some of Cristom’s best fruit.

The 2014 vintage will be remembered as one of the great vintages in Willamette Valley winegrowing history. A warm, but nearly ideal growing season delivered the rare combination of abundant quantity and exceptional quality fruit that developed into aromatic wines of balance, depth and concentration. The season got off to a warm and dry start with the earliest budbreak and bloom we have recorded at the Cristom Estate in our history to that point – a full two weeks earlier than our twenty- year average. Growing conditions were mostly dry and warmer than normal throughout the spring providing a great environment for flowering and fruit set and the vineyards produced heavy clusters and large berries. The warm weather conditions continued throughout the summer leading to record high temperatures and the earliest start date to harvest in over two decades. The 2014 vintage broke the previous record for heat accumulation during the growing season, set in 1992.

With such exceptional vine fruitfulness and set, we made the deliberate decision to thin more modestly than we historically have per vine, leaving more fruit spread out across the canopy. Our reasoning behind keeping more clusters on the vine in 2014, was given the unusually warm growing season we were trying to gain hang time at the end of the season. If we thinned more aggressively as we do in an average year, we feared we would shorten the season and the fruit would result in high sugars and green flavors. We hung just over 2.25 tons/acre in many areas of Marjorie Vineyard as opposed to our twenty-year average of 2.0/tons acre. Our gamble paid off, and the expected abundant quantity and additional hang time combined for dark and concentrated fruit with balanced acids and sugars without experiencing any heat stress. We picked the estate Pinot Noir grapes between September 9th and September 27th, 2014. Truly a year to remember, the 2014 harvest gave us a range of wines from refreshing and vibrant to more rich, powerful and concentrated wines that remain graceful with balance and moderate alcohol.

The 2014 Marjorie is a seventeen-barrel blend of some of the finest barrels in the cellar. The overall 2014 blend is composed of five clones of Pinot Noir, including: 29% original vine Pommard, 24% original vine Wa?denswil, and 47% young vine Pommard, Wa?denswil, 114, 115 and 777. The 2014 Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir explodes from the glass with concentrated red-fruits, dusty earth aromas, savory spices and baking spices. There is a pleasing strawberry briar patch note that blends with a sweet pipe tobacco as the wine opens up. There is a richness of fruit on the palate, with soft delicate tannins that marry well with juicy acidity that lingers and lingers. This wine is approachable now, and it will reward those with patience for 12-15 years or more.

Varietal: Pinot Noir

AVA: Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills

Barrel Aging: Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels (47% new oak)

Alcohol: 13.5%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2029

Serving Temperature: 13ºC/55ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

2014 reviews: Vinous, 94 pts; JamesSuckling.com, 93 pts; Prince of Pinot, 96 pts; Wine Enth, 91 pts
2013 reviews: Wine Enthusiast, 93 pts; Wine & Spirits, 92 pts; Wine Advocate, 91 pts.
2012 reviews: The Wine Advocate, 95 pts; Wine Spectator, 93 pts.

Pinot Noir 'Eileen Vineyard' 2015

PINOT NOIR 'EILEEN VINEYARD' 2015

Description and Flavor Profile: Eileen Vineyard is named after founder Eileen Gerrie, wife of Paul Gerrie, and at the top of our hillside has commanding views of the Cristom estate, the Cascade Range to the east and the Coastal Range to the west. Planting began in 1997 on the south and southeast facing slopes to Dijon clones 114, 115, and 777 and Pommard clone of Pinot Noir on American rootstocks. The original vines are planted at the high density of 2,311 vines/acre (5,710 vines/ha) in 15.5 million year old Columbia River Basalt soils that range from moderately deep Nekia and Yamhill to shallow Ritner and Witzel soils that all have a natural devigorating effect on the vines, slowing vegetative growth and focusing the plants energy on fruit production.

The maritime climate of Eileen Vineyard has moderately warm days and especially cool nights, allowing the vines to retain acidity and produce intense and fragrant aromas and flavors. Often recognizable by its bouquet of sweet spices, Eileen offers forward focused fruit and gentle tannins that coat the mouth. The vineyard tends to produce a wine that is textured, layered and creamy on the palate. The 2000 vintage was the inaugural release of the Eileen Vineyard single vineyard Pinot Noir.

The 2014 vintage will be remembered as one of the great vintages in Willamette Valley winegrowing history. A warm, but nearly ideal growing season delivered the rare combination of abundant quantity and exceptional quality fruit that developed into aromatic wines of balance, depth and concentration. The season got off to a warm and dry start with the earliest budbreak and bloom we have recorded at the Cristom Estate in our history to that point – a full two weeks earlier than our twenty- year average. Growing conditions were mostly dry and warmer than normal throughout the spring providing a great environment for flowering and fruit set and the vineyards produced heavy clusters and large berries. The warm weather conditions continued throughout the summer leading to record high temperatures and the earliest start date to harvest in over two decades. The 2014 vintage broke the previous record for heat accumulation during the growing season, set in 1992.

The wine has an enticing aroma of a complex blend of spices including cinnamon, clove, anise seed, ginger root, nutmeg and turmeric reminiscent of South Asian cuisine. On the palate, it exudes bright red fruits, has great balance and a good weight to the mid-palate with soft, tannins that in short time will integrate beautifully. This wine has tremendous structure and the distinct ability to age gracefully over a period of 10 – 12 years or more.

Varietal: Pinot Noir

AVA: Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills

Barrel Aging: 18 months in French cooperage, 44% new oak

Alcohol: 13.5%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2027

Serving Temperature: 13ºC/55ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

2014 reviews: W&S 95 pts; Vinous, 94 pts; James Suckling.com, 94 pts; Prince of Pinot, 94 pts.
2013 reviews: Wine Enthusiast, 92 pts; Vinous, 92 pts; Wine Spectator, 90 pts.
2012 reviews: Wine & Spirits, 92 pts; Wine Spectator, 90 pts.

Pinot Noir 'Louise Vineyard' 2014

PINOT NOIR 'LOUISE VINEYARD' 2014

Description and Flavor Profile: Louise Vineyard was named for founder Paul Gerrie’s maternal grandmother and was the first vineyard Cristom began planting in 1993. Louise Vineyard is distinctly different from our other estate Pinot Noir vineyards on the hillside because it can be divided into “upper” Louise and “lower” Louise across the 290 feet to 440 feet (88 m to 134 m) elevation change. Upper Louise is planted at 2,311 vines/acre (5,710 vines/ha) in very deep Columbia River Basalt soils known as Jory that grades downslope to moderately deep Nekia. Both of these soils are known to be mineral rich and very well draining allowing the roots to drive deep in the ground. The upper corner of the 9.31 acres (3.77 hectares) vineyard lies in a sun shadow and is often the last fruit harvested off of the estate.

“Lower” Louise has a strong influence of Missoula Flood deposits in addition to the moderately well drained soils formed from sedimentary rocks. The Pinot Noir vines planted closest to the winery are planted at 1,815 vines/acre (4,485 vines/ha) entirely on Missoula Flood silts known as Helvetia, a very deep, moderately drained silt loam that formed over clay, and is often the first fruit harvested at Cristom. Louise Vineyard is the only Pinot Noir vineyard on the Cristom estate that can claim this dramatic soil diversity and we believe it has contributed to the balance in the wines that have come from this densely planted vineyard since its initial release from the 1996 vintage.

Louise will often produce the most firmly structured Pinot Noir of all the single vineyards and can have the darkest fruit profile in the estate lineup. It typically has more acid and tannin than other single vineyard estate Pinot Noirs – a result of its lower elevation and warmer site. Full of deep and silky tannins, Louise lingers on the palate, her story will slowly unfold for years to come.

The 2014 vintage will be remembered as one of the great vintages in Willamette Valley winegrowing history. A warm, but nearly ideal growing season delivered the rare combination of abundant quantity and exceptional quality fruit that developed into aromatic wines of balance, depth and concentration. The season got off to a warm and dry start with the earliest budbreak and bloom we have recorded at the Cristom Estate in our history to that point – a full two weeks earlier than our twenty- year average. Growing conditions were mostly dry and warmer than normal throughout the spring providing a great environment for flowering and fruit set and the vineyards produced heavy clusters and large berries. The warm weather conditions continued throughout the summer leading to record high temperatures and the earliest start date to harvest in over two decades. The 2014 vintage broke the previous record for heat accumulation during the growing season, set in 1992.

With such exceptional vine fruitfulness and set, we made the deliberate decision to thin more modestly than we historically have per vine, leaving more fruit spread out across the canopy. Our reasoning behind keeping more clusters on the vine in 2014, was given the unusually warm growing season, we were trying to gain hang time at the end of the season. If we thinned more aggressively as we do in an average year, we feared we would shorten the season and the fruit would result in high sugars and green flavors. We hung just over 2.8 tons/acre in many areas of Louise Vineyard as opposed to our twenty-year average of 2.0/tons acre. Our gamble paid off, and the expected abundant quantity and additional hang time combined for dark and concentrated fruit with balanced acids and sugars without experiencing any heat stress. We picked the estate Pinot Noir grapes between September 9th and September 27th, 2014. Truly a year to remember, the 2014 harvest gave us a range of wines from refreshing and vibrant to more rich, powerful and concentrated wines that remain graceful with balance and moderate alcohol.

In the winery after tasting, we think the 2014 Louise Vineyard exhibits dark fruits, and a dusty, earthy nose with balanced oak vanilla as the high note. The palate has mouth-coating tannins with great persistence and balance. The fruit profile is mixed on the palate with a combination of concentrated black currant, black cherry, and black licorice, along with bright, vibrant red fruit and great integration of cinnamon spice from the stem inclusion.

Varietal: Pinot Noir

AVA: Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills

Barrel Aging: 18 months in French cooperage, 51% new oak

Alcohol: 14.0%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2029

Serving Temperature: 13ºC/55ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

2014 reviews: Vinous, 93 pts; James Suckling.com 93 pts; Prince of Pinot, 95 pts; W&S, 91 pts.
2013 reviews: Wine Enthusiast, 94 pts, ‘cellar selection’, Vinous, 94 pts; W&S: 91 pts..
2012 reviews: The Wine Advocate, 94 pts; W&S, 93 pts; Wine Spectator, 92 pts.

Pinot Noir 'Jessie Vineyard' 2014

PINOT NOIR 'JESSIE VINEYARD' 2014

Description and Flavor Profile: Jessie Vineyard was established in 1994 after founder of Cristom Vineyards, Paul Gerrie, saw the potential of a steep, wooded, east-facing hillside when the property was purchased in 1992. When planting began in 1994, the vineyard was named after Paul’s paternal grandmother Jessie Summers.

Ranging in elevation from 320 ft to 550 ft (98 m to 168 m), this 11.53 acre (4.67 hectare) site is one of the steepest planted in the Willamette Valley and our most challenging to farm. The entire vineyard is planted at the high density of 2,311 vines/acre (5,710 vines/hectare) and is notorious at the estate for its shallow soil at the top of the hillside. The strategy to plant densely creates competition among the neighboring vines and forces the roots deep into the topsoil, yielding smaller clusters and producing more concentrated flavors. The shallow, 15.5 million year old Columbia River Basalt soils known as Witzel and Ritner run the western edge of the vineyard at the top of the hill and are the most shallow soils on the entire estate. The vines struggle here – these soils have a natural devigorating effect on the vines, slowing vegetative growth and focusing the plants energy on fruit production. Deeper basalt soils including Jory and Nekia, that both have greater water holding capacity, extend down the steep hillside and the eastern edge of the vineyard boasts some of the deepest soils on the Cristom estate.

Jessie Vineyard tends to produce Pinot Noirs that exude an enticing scent of purple and blue floral notes that make the wine instantly appealing. Drawn in by the deep floral aromas and minerality, Jessie can also be recognized by savory aromas that often call to mind rare-beef. On the palate, black fruits and a deeper-darker-fuller mouth-feel and alluring texture can often characterize Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noirs.

The 2014 vintage will be remembered as one of the great vintages in Willamette Valley winegrowing history. A warm, but nearly ideal growing season delivered the rare combination of abundant quantity and exceptional quality fruit that developed into aromatic wines of balance, depth and concentration. The season got off to a warm and dry start with the earliest budbreak and bloom we have recorded at the Cristom Estate in our history to that point – a full two weeks earlier than our twenty-year average. Growing conditions were mostly dry and warmer than normal throughout the spring providing a great environment for flowering and fruit set and the vineyards produced heavy clusters and large berries. The warm weather conditions continued throughout the summer leading to record high temperatures and the earliest start date to harvest in over two decades. The 2014 vintage broke the previous record for heat accumulation during the growing season, set in 1992.

With such exceptional vine fruitfulness and set, we made the deliberate decision to thin more modestly than we historically have per vine, leaving more fruit spread out across the canopy. Our reasoning behind keeping more clusters on the vine in 2014, was given the unusually warm growing season we were trying to gain hang time at the end of the season. If we thinned more aggressively as we do in an average year, we feared we would shorten the season and the fruit would result in high sugars and green flavors. We hung just over 2.6 tons/acre in many areas of Jessie Vineyard as opposed to our twenty- year average of 2.0/tons acre. Our gamble paid off, and the expected abundant quantity and additional hang time combined for dark and concentrated fruit with balanced acids and sugars without experiencing any heat stress. We picked the estate Pinot Noir grapes between September 9th and September 27th, 2014. Truly a year to remember, the 2014 harvest gave us a range of wines from refreshing and vibrant to more rich, powerful and concentrated wines that remain graceful with balance and moderate alcohol.

Jessie Vineyard, in almost any vintage, exudes floral notes of blue and purple flowers and the 2014 expresses this trademark trait beautifully. The nose swirls with earthy tones, dense strawberry fields, Chinese cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves and star anise. On the palate there is a richness to the core of opulent fruit and finishes with slightly sandy tannins and a balanced, persistent finish. This wine is drinking well now and may age for the next 10-12 years gracefully.

Varietal: Pinot Noir

AVA: Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills

Barrel Aging: 18 months in French cooperage, 52% new oak

Alcohol: 13.5%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2026

Serving Temperature: 13ºC/55ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

2014 reviews: Vinous, 94 pts; Prince of Pinot, 93 pts; James Suckling.com, 92 pts; Wine Enth, 91 pts
2013 reviews: Wine Enthusiast, 93 pts; Wine Spectator, 92 pts, Wine & Spirits, 91 pts.
2012 reviews: Wine Advocate, 93 pts; Wine Spectator, 93 pts; Wine & Spirits, 92 pts.

“Jessie is one of Oregon’s 5 Grand Cru sites of the future”
– Katherine Cole, Wine-searcher, April 2014

“It feels like something made by angels rather than guys in work boots.”
– Karen McNeil, Winespeed, January 2017, ‘Wine of the week’

“Jessie is one of six wines to consider if you want to know Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.”
– Michael Alberty, Conversations & Tastings with 50 Masters of Place, Wine & Spirits, Fall 2016

Pinot Noir 'Estate' 2013

PINOT NOIR 'ESTATE' 2013

Description and Flavor Profile: After more than twenty vintages producing distinctive expressions of our single vineyards, we made the decision in 2013 to create a blend of some of the finest barrels from each of our four unique estate vineyards. It was with great excitement when we introduced the Cristom Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir bottling with the inaugural 2013 vintage to showcase our entire hillside. This wine combines barrels from all four of our estate Pinot Noir Vineyards — Eileen Vineyard, Jessie Vineyard, Louise Vineyard and Marjorie Vineyard —blended together to create our finest blend of Pinot Noir sites that we can produce as a winery in any year.

In the glass, the 2013 Estate expresses itself as if it were grown in a cool year in the Willamette Valley with bright, red-fruit aromatics, elegant, balanced tannins and persistent acidity. Even though we had a warm spring and summer, the rain impacted the season, and like many cooler vintages, our winemaker made the deliberate decision to use less whole clusters in 2013. This wine will be one the finest expressions of the vintage as it is composed of some of the earliest and latest fruit harvested in 2013. The 2013 Estate Pinot Noir is a forty-barrel blend of some of the winemaker’s favorite lots from the four estate Pinot Noir single vineyards.

The Process: The Cristom style is a recognizable style that strives to create world-class wines that are an honest expression of the vineyard in any vintage. Whole-cluster fermentations by native yeast followed by extended aging in French oak are the hallmarks of the Cristom winemaking style. The 2013 Estate Pinot Noir spent more than seventeen months in French cooperage, 58% new oak. After tasting and comparing the barrels over a year and a half in barrel, the resulting Estate Pinot Noir bottling is a blend of some of the favorite barrels from the four vineyards and offers great complexity of flavor and yet has a balanced, elegant structure.

Varietal: Pinot Noir

AVA: Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills

Aging: Aged for 17 months in French cooperage, 58% new oak

Alcohol: 13%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2023

Serving Temperature: 13ºC/55ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

2013 reviews: Vinous, 92 pts; Wine Advocate, 91 pts; Wine Enthusiast, 90 pts

Viognier 'Estate' 2015

VIOGNIER 'ESTATE' 2015

Description and Flavor Profile: When founder of Cristom Paul Gerrie first began planting new vines on the estate in 1993, he chose to plant 1.25 acres (0.506 hectares) of Viognier and be among the first to pioneer the varietal in the Willamette Valley. Paul appreciated and admired the Calera Wine Company wines while he was living in Pittsburgh, PA prior to starting Cristom. Owner of Calera, Josh Jenson, first planted Viognier on a limestone slope in 1983 making him one of the first winegrowers in America to plant the varietal. Paul loved the Pinot Noir, Viognier and Chardonnay Calera was producing in the 1980’s and hired winemaker Steve Doerner in 1992 after his fourteen years at Calera. With our first release of Estate Viognier in 1996, Cristom became one of the first wineries to produce an estate-grown Viognier in the Willamette Valley. The total acreage planted to Viognier is currently at 3.744 acres (1.515 hectares).

The Cristom Estate Viognier exhibits the pure, and nearly textbook, characteristics of this varietal, with aromas of orange blossoms, honeysuckle, clover, and anise as well as the ripe fruit aromas of peach, apricot, and lychee. Slightly viscous on the palate, with bright and mouth watering acidity that support the fruit structure of the wine, it is well integrated and perfectly balanced.

In 2015, the Viognier vines got off to a warm and dry start with the earliest budbreak we have recorded at our estate since 1992. Warm weather continued through the spring and summer leading to the earliest bloom we have recorded at the estate – a full two weeks ahead of average – setting us on pace for our earliest harvest ever. The weather conditions were prime for a heavy fruit set and the vineyard produced heavy clusters and large berries. The record highs continued through the summer leading to the earliest start date in over two decades. The generous weather continued all throughout September and we began picking the Viognier on September 11th, 2015. As flavors ripened and developed we continued to pick Viognier on September 17th and finished the following day on September 18th as we moved east down the hillside into the younger and grafted vines. At Cristom, along with evaluating the chemistry we always make our picking decisions based on flavors and this year the Viognier came to the winery in a range of sugar ripeness. The estate Viognier ranged from 23.3 degrees Brix and 3.29 pH in the upper field, to a very ripe 25.1 degrees Brix and 3.4 pH from fruit grown at the bottom of the hillside in the Missoula Flood Silts.

Constantly trying to improve our wines is a paradigm we live by at Cristom. In that effort, the 2015 Estate Viognier was divided into two separate lots: half of the grapes were whole-cluster pressed; and the other half of grapes were crushed into the pneumatic bladder press and then gently pressed. We were trying to understand the aromatic and palate differences of these different techniques and determine if we had a preference. The whole-cluster pressed fruit developed into a delicate wine with bright, refreshing acidity and floral aromatics. The crushed fruit was more defined by its phenolics with greater texture, weight and mouth-feel. The resulting 2015 Viognier is a blend of these two distinctly different lots and the combined wine takes the bright, floral aromatics from the whole-cluster fruit and the depth and mid-palate from the crushed fruit to form a complete and complex wine. Both lots were fermented using a combination of native yeasts and two commercial yeasts in neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel drums. Most of the barrels fermented dry and underwent a partial malolactic fermentation and then aged on its lees in barrel for nine months. It was then racked off its lees, lightly fined using Bentonite clay and finally filtered prior to bottling. With a white flower bouquet redolent of honeysuckle and jasmine, barely perceptible sugar and a creamy mouth-feel from the partial malolactic fermentation and sur-lees aging, this is an enjoyable and serious food wine.

Varietal: Viognier

AVA: Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills

Aging: The wine ages on its lees in barrel, after malolactic fermentation, for 9 months

Alcohol: 14.0%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2023

Serving Temperature: 10 – 13ºC/50 – 55ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

– The Wine Advocate, 91 pts, July 2016; Wine Enthusiast, 92 pts, ‘Editor’s Choice’, April 2016

Pinot Gris 'Estate' 2015

PINOT GRIS 'ESTATE' 2015

Description and Flavor Profile: Cristom Vineyards planted 5.1 acres (2.06 hectares) of Pinot Gris vines on the estate in 1993 on a gentle east-facing slope. The vines were planted at the lowest elevation on the property greeting visitors at the driveway and rising from 200 feet to 350 feet (61 m to 107 m). Planted at a high density of 1,815 vines/acre (4,485 vines/hectare), the Pinot Gris block often produces a lifted floral and citrus-tinged wine that typically combines zesty, mineral driven accents with a distinctive creamy finish. Cristom has been producing a single expression of estate-grown Pinot Gris since 1996.

The maritime climate at Cristom Vineyards has moderately warm days and especially cool nights, allowing the vines to retain acidity and produce intense and fragrant aromas and flavors. The estate Pinot Gris is planted on the lower slopes of our site and is significantly impacted by the cool Pacific Ocean breezes that flow through the Van Duzer Corridor. The corridor allows cool marine breezes to flow east into the Willamette Valley and moderates high summer temperatures, cools the vines, and moves air through the canopy to reduce disease pressure. This cool ocean air results in lower average temperatures at night than the northern Willamette Valley, and helps us to maintain good natural acid structure in the wines. Still impacted by the winds, the estate Pinot Gris is partially protected by a tree-line that separates the lower and upper hillsides on the estate.
Due to our altitude and location on the 45th parallel, there is a high diurnal temperature variation at our estate – meaning that there is a significant difference (often 35 degrees or more) between the daytime high and nighttime lowest temperature during the growing season. This significant temperature shift helps to preserve natural acids in the grapes by allowing the vine to shut down at night, slowing the ripening process, often resulting in more hang-time on the vine and later picking dates.

In 2015, the Pinot Gris vines got off to a warm and dry start with the earliest budbreak we have recorded at our estate since 1992 – a full 3 weeks earlier than our twenty-five year average. Warm weather continued through the spring and summer leading to the earliest bloom we have recorded at the estate, a full two weeks ahead of a twenty-year average. The weather conditions were prime for a heavy fruit set and the vineyard produced heavy clusters and large berries. From the beginning of the growing season it looked to be an early harvest and record highs continued through the summer leading to the earliest start date in over two decades.

The 2015 Estate Pinot Gris exudes aromas of lime blossom, orange oil, lemon verbena, Bosc pears, and white peach out of the glass. The wine is stylistically a dry and food-friendly Pinot Gris with rounded edges and a creamy mouth-feel from the full malolactic fermentation and aging on its lees. On the palate, the wine offers focused notes of lime pith, citrus rind, Jonagold apples and a spicy clove character on the finish. Tasted, June 2016.

Varietal: Pinot Gris

AVA: Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills

Aging: Aged for 6 months on its lees after undergoing a full malolactic fermentation

Alcohol: 14.5%

Aging Potential: Enjoy now through 2023

Serving Temperature: 7 – 10ºC/45 – 50ºF

Cases by Layer/Pallet: 14/56 (12, 750ml bottles/case)

– 1,660 cases produced. Grown in sedimentary soils, on high-density 25 year-old vines, right at the winery door! – October 2016 Food & Wine: ‘A bucket list Pinot Gris for the Fall……’

2015 reviews: Wine Enthusiast 92 points, ‘Editor’s Choice’’, February 2017