Perman Wine Selections Friday Feature – 7/15/11

Hello and Happy Friday!

Do you love Oregon Pinot Noir?

Does this sound like a late night info-mercial?

If yes – to the first part, then reading today’s Friday Feature is an absolute must!

There are very few Oregon Pinot Noir aficionados that would disagree that Cristom Vineyards, is and has been for a long time, one of the top producers of Pinot Noir in Oregon and the United States.

Those same aficionados would agree that 2008 was an excellent vintage for Oregon. My recent tastings of Cristom’s new releases of a couple of their single vineyard 2008 Pinot’s confirm this quality.

If you buy, drink, and cellar Oregon Pinot Noir, do not miss the new releases of the ’08 Jessie and Eileen Vineyards from Cristom!

Available only by ordering via email, let me know asap if they interest you because as with all good things, they eventually will run out!

Have a great weekend,
Craig

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CRISTOM VINEYARDS

What makes any winery a great winery starts with its vineyards. Cristom owns 65 acres of vines based in the Southern Willamette Valley close to Salem. The A.V.A. is called Eola-Amity Hills. The vineyards are planted into eight blocks, some of which are named after the Gerrie family matriarchs.

Vineyard management is also crucial to success at Cristom. High-density plantings, low yields and dry farming are notable attributes.

Finally, the work in the winery is geared towards minimal interference with the pristine fruit. Winemaker Steve Doerner uses whole clusters, native yeast fermentation, and treats the juice as gentle as possible through minimal handling.

The different single vineyard wines at Cristom all have distinctive attributes, which is precisely what makes Pinot Noir so interesting. The question “is one better than the other” is one that I try to avoid because each is distinctive, complex and delicious in its own right.

I personally have lots of experience with aged Cristom Pinot Noir’s. While the 2008 Pinot Noir’s in general tasted great from day one, if you are seeking a truly complex bottle of Pinot Noir, then let these sit in your cellar. Cristom is one of the surest bets for complex, aged wines, and if there was ever a 2008 to put in your cellar it would be the single vineyard ’08’s from Cristom!

One last note, Cristom will release its 2008 Marjorie Vineyard later in the year.

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2008 CRISTOM PINOT NOIR “JESSIE VINEYARD”

This 11.5 acre vineyard ranges in elevation from 350-500 feet. Five soil types are present in the Jessie Vineyard, making it quite diverse. The first vintage from Jessie was the excellent 1998.

“The 2008 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard is dark ruby red bordering onl light purple. It surrenders an aromatic array of balsam wood, rose petal, Asian spices, tobacco, and assorted black fruits. Medium-bodied, dense, and crammed with succulent black fruits, it is already revealing some complexity, but there is more to come with another 3-4 years in the bottle. It, too, will deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2023. 92 Points, Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate.”

$46.99 BTL. / $563.88 CASE

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2008 CRISTOM PINOT NOIR “EILEEN VINEYARD”

Eileen is a 15.25 acre vineyard, 4 of which were recently planted in 2006. This was the first Cristom estate vineyard to be farmed entirely organically. It is also the highest elevation site, starting at 700 feet. The first vintage for Eileen was 2000.

“The 2008 Pinot Noir Eileen Vineyard sports a super-fragrant perfume of earth notes, mineral, underbrush, spice box, black cherry, and black raspberry that jumps from the glass. Dense and layered on the palate, this plush, smooth-textured Pinot has the structure and balance to evolve for 3-4 years. Its drinking window will extend from 2013-2023. 92 Points, Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate.”

$46.99 BTL. / $563.88 CASE

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2007 CRISTOM PINOT NOIR “LOUISE VINEYARD”

Wait a second what am I doing putting a 2007 vintage, noted by those “not in-the-know” as a terrible vintage, on the newsletter? There were some pretty bad wines made in 2007, but there were also a lot of very good wines. Those that made successful wines attained a level of great purity and elegance. Another good thing about the ’07’s is that they are more for the near term drinking.

The distributor has marked off a few dollars from the wholesale price to help it move, and frankly, it should given that it is a terrific wine.

Louise is a 9.25 acre vineyard, Cristom’s oldest planted vineyard and lowest hillside-vineyard. It has some of the earliest and latest ripening fruit due to a late afternoon sun shadow on the upper slopes.

Take advantage of this good deal, especially if looking to drink something in the near term.

“The 2007 Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard has an alluring perfume of sandalwood, spice box, strawberry, and cherry. Medium-bodied, elegant, and savory on the palate, this well-balanced effort will provide pleasure through 2019. 90 Points, Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate.”

$39.99 BTL. / $479.88 CASE

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