James Suckling 94
"A very spicy and fresh array of blueberries, ripe darker cherries and plums. Cassis aromas, too, as well as more savory notes of graphite and fragrant wood. The palate has very striking depth and presence with expansive, fleshy tannins carrying intense fruit flavors, in the darker spectrum of cherries and berries. Cocoa powder to close. Drink or hold."
Mt. Jefferson Cuve is a blend of the Cristom estate Pinot Noir vineyards along with 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.
After tasting multiple times through every lot of the vintage, it is the Mt. Jeff blend that their original winemaker crafts first. Whole-cluster fermentations by native yeast followed by extended aging in French oak are the hallmarks of the Cristom winemaking style. This wine ages in barrel for twelve months and can stylistically be the most fresh and approachable of the Cristom Pinot Noirs in its youth. You can call it your school-night Pinot.
Hand harvested and hand sorted
31 whole clusters
No cold soak before primary fermentation
Minimum effective additions of sulfur and tartaric acid
Native yeast fermentations
1-3 punch-downs daily in 1-7 ton open-top fermenters
Gently pressed in a pneumatic bladder press and moved to barrel by gravity, and never racked, unless necessary
Undergoes a full malolactic fermentation in barrel
Fined with egg whites, unfiltered
Aged 12 months in French cooperage, 18 new oak
It was the promise of great wines that first drew Paul and Eileen Gerrie, owners of Cristom Vineyards, to Oregon. They conceived of a place where the succulent Pinot Noir grape could achieve its fullest expression complex, hand crafted wines that are bold yet balanced: both powerful and elegant. Their wines evolve as they age, revealing ever greater richness and complexity with time. The abundance of soils and slopes in the hills of Oregon defined the Gerries vision of world class Pinot Noir. The warm winds of summer held the promise of rich Chardonnay, the cool sunny autumn yielded tart Pinot Gris. Since the inaugural vintage in 1992, the Gerries, along with winemaker Steve Doerner, have been producing wines that are considered the benchmark in Oregon and have made Cristom, named after their children, Christine and Tom, a veritable household name.
Farming Practice: Practicing Organic