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Professional Ratings: 94 Wine & Spirits, 90 The Wine Advocate, 90 International Wine Cellar
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Style: Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume: 14.2%
Item no. 108129
This wine comes from a blend of twelve different vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley, including fruit from our four estate vineyards. The Mt. Jefferson Cuvee is the first of our six Pinot Noirs to be released each year and has been produced at Cristom since 1994. It is named for Mt Jefferson (10,501 ft) in the Cascade Range that is due east of Cristom and dramatically visible from our tasting room.
Tasted after one year in bottle. Brooding dark-raspberry and dark-cherry dominate the nose of this youthful and zesty Mt Jefferson. The wine is still very primary on the bouquet and it reminded us of a freshly filled oak barrel as creamy vanilla scents came wafting out of our glasses. True to form, Mt Jeff is juicy and ripe on the palate with delicate mouth coating tannins. This is a seriously notable edition of Mt Jeff that shows tremendous promise over the medium term.
This pinot leads with an exotic mélange of stem spices—caraway, anise, licorice—adorning fresh, bright cherry flavors. There’s beautiful tension between the bright fruit and savory elements, the finish focused and lifted at once, its lasting concentration a match for the complex flavors of fennel-roasted pork.
Dark ruby red, it offers up aromas of rose petal, spice box, incense, cherry, and raspberry. On the palate it displays medium body, sweet fruit, plenty of spice, and enough ripe tannin to evolve for 1-2 years. However, it can be approached now and over the next 6-8 years. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, continuity and consistency are the keys to Cristom’s success. The winemaking team led by Steve Doerner rose to the occasion, taking full advantage of the great raw materials provided by the 2008 vintage.
Bright medium red. Smoky redcurrant and cherry aromas are complicated by dried rose and spicecake. Deeper dark berry flavors are firmed by silky tannins and become sweeter with air. Shows very good power on the focused dark berry-flavored finish. This is the best version of this bottling I can recall. Winemaker Steve Doerner told me that he used 50% whole clusters across the board in 2008.