Cristom Vineyards have produced some of best Pinot Noirs to come out of America in the last decade. Winemaker Steve Doerner in the last two decades has been mastering the art of Pinot Noir with Cristom and previously with Calera Winery in California.
Cristom Pinot Noir Mt.Jefferson Cuvée, Willamette Valley 1998
The 1998 Mt. Jefferson Cuvée is the most available of the Pinot Noirs from Cristom. It is medium dark in color, more so than previous three vintages. This wine has a rich nose of raspberry, lavender and firewood. In its youth this wine allows the flavors of bing cherries, charcoal and cola to show with a backbone of wood tannin to build a base upon. The 98′ Oregon Pinot Noirs I have had recently will require some time to come around. Note that it was an excellent vintage but production was limited. Enjoy this at $26 – CG
Cristom Viognier, Willamette Valley 1998
Wickedly aromatic with a fantastic amount of orange blossoms, candied apricot and alcohol in the nose. Viscous and ever rich, this wine is an absolute treat as a cocktail wine. Explosive amounts of fruit with exotic flavors of kiwi, strawberry, pineapple and orange zestfill the palate. This wine has some oak, but it is dominated by the concentration of sexy fruit and spices. Just awesome at $26. Good luck finding this one, only 100 cases were made. -CG
Cristom Chardonnay Celilo Vineyard Columbia Valley 1997
Another example of why Celilo is considered one of the best vineyards for Chardonnay grapes in Washington state. Dark straw in color with scents or apricots and butterscotch. Most noticeable about this wine is the exceptional balance and finesse of the textures on the palate. Flavors of figs, toasty oak, and viscous tropical fruit glide over the palate and finish very dry. Concentration, finesse and length, what else do you want? Go get it at $20. -CG
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