2009 Cristom "Sommers Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $45)

SKU #1122798 93 points Wine & Spirits

 This blend is focused on Cristom’s four Eola-Amity Hills vineyards. It’s a dense mélange of stem spice, smoke, graham flour and tobacco, with plummy fruit that absorbs the savory elements, and a sturdy oak component that cradles the lot of it in a warm embrace. Tasted over several days it gains polish and elegance, the oak integrating into something more burnished and structural, lending direction without weight.  (4/2013)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Kept for 18 months rather than the Jefferson Cuvee’s 12 months in barrels, a higher percentage of which are new, Cristom’s 2009 Pinot Noir Summers Reserve was fermented with half stems and whole clusters and represents a barrel-selection performed after the first year; lesser -- or simply especially approachable -- barrels being diverted at that point into the corresponding Jefferson Cuvee. 'Often the barrels that stand out are the usual suspects' as far as site origin, notes Doerner, 'but not always.' The 20% of non-estate wine employed in this year’s rendition reflects ten different sources, including the small bit of Archery Summit Arcus Estate’s crop that is traded for fruit from Cristom, each winemaker for fun and insight rendering in his or her style a special bottling from the other’s vines...Ripe elderberry, blackberry and purple plum mingle with savory salted pork stock, high-toned evocations of basil and gentian wafting from the nose; across a silken palate; and all the way through a lingering, saliva-inducing finish. The clarity of fruit, poise, refinement, and mouthwatering length here set it well apart from the corresponding Jefferson, and I would anticipate a decade of satisfaction. (DS)  (8/2012)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe flavors of blueberry and plum dance on a medium-weight frame, shaded by hints of pepper and clove, underlined by fine tannins. A hint of orange tea emerges on the finish. (HS, Web-2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid red. Red fruits and flowers on the nose, complemented by star anise and musky herbs, with a subtle spicecake nuance in the background. Juicy, open-knit raspberry and cherry flavors show good depth, with tangy acidity providing ift. Closes with dusty tannins and very good length, leaving licorice and bitter cherry notes behind. This wine deserves at least a few more years of patience. (JR)  (6/2012)

K&L Notes

Here at K&L we are afforded numerous opportunities on a regular basis because of our long-standing relationships with certain wineries. One of these wineries with whom we have a fantastic relationship is Cristom, who makes some of the best wine in the Willamette Valley in our humble opinion. Founded in 1992 Cristom set out to make delicious Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Chardonnay and even a little Syrah from their estate vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills. It helped that they hired a great winemaker in Steve Doerner, who previously worked for well over a decade at Calera with Josh Jensen before coming north. Steve has made every vintage of Cristom wine. This bottling of Sommers Reserve is from both the matriarchal-named Estate Pinot Noir blocks and from purchased fruit. It sees 19 months in 52% new French oak. Offered to us at a steal of a deal we couldn't pass up, we are more than excited to be able to pass this delicious and currently drinkable wine on to our faithful customers. (Bryan Brick, K&L Wine Merchants)

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Price: $24.99
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By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/20/2016 | Send Email
I am in total awe that this incredible, perfectly mature Pinot was made available to us, again, by Cristom. One would think that they really do like us! Medium-deep garnet ruby in color with an orangish-pink rim, the opulent nose of rose petals, raspberry, cedar, cola, and spicy cinnamon notes is distinctive and is underscored by a meaty to forest floor minerality. All of this carries over to a profound, complex, and developed palate impression that is well-integrated and layered. With excellent mid-palate texture, this amazing Pinot finishes long and warm. Rusty had me buy a case of this Gem with the first offering several months ago, and now insist that I buy at least two more cases. Believe or not, I am going to age this Gem a few more years because I believe that it will get even better. DO NOT MISS THIS GEM THIS TIME! ***** 14.0% ABV *****
Drink from 2016 to 2020

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/6/2015 | Send Email
Of all the Cristom wines, this would be my top choice to open now! This wine shows all the precision of great wine-making combined with excellent terroir. The Cristom Pinots have a surprisingly luxurious feel, accented in this case by the age of the bottle. However, the Sommers Reserve still shows that elegance and balance typical of the Cristom wines.

By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/3/2015 | Send Email
With 2009 being a nice and warm vintage for Oregon Pinot Noirs, this wine is in it's prime time drinking window. With ripe red fruits and gorgeous level acidity, you know you can enjoy this bottle with some nice age to it, which will give it more elegance and gracefulness. Enjoy!

By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2015 | Send Email
Killer Deal Alert! A majorly discounted Pinot Noir, the majority of which comes from the amazing single vineyard blocks at the estate, for a price tag of $25. No way? Yes Way! This 2009, a ripe and fleshy vintage, does not disappoint with its darkly fruited nose of wild blackberry, cola, roasted red beets and cinnamon sticks. Full and mouthfilling on the palate this wine is at a perfect place to drink, showing all its opulent fruit and sassy warm spices, in a seamless and open knit manner. Chewy and with nice velvety tannins in the finish this unravels easily to find plenty of sassafras, more wild berry, nutmeg, and a long earthy note on the palate. We love the wines from Cristom and this is certainly no exception, we may love this one a little more just because it is so easy on your pocketbook.

By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2015 | Send Email
Value Pinot Noir aficionados take note! From the Willamette Valley's ripe vintage of 2009 comes Cristom's Sommers Reserve exuding a delicious nose of black cherry cola. The palate is medium bodied and layered with velvety, succulent mouthfeel, stimulating, forward acidity with yummy spice cake notes. $25 for delicious fruit and an even-handed, well made, eminently drinkable wine? Count me in, super recommended!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2015 | Send Email
Beautifully mature Pinot at an incredible price. Cristom is one of our go-to producers here at K&L and this opportunity to get a great bottle of the Sommers Reserve, with a few years of bottle age, at this price...is just outrageous. The wine has lots of soft red berry fruits, sweet baking spice, some dusty earthy tones and just a hint of secondary leathery development. This wine shows the warmth and forward nature of the 2009 vintage but has plenty of life left. Great work by Bryan Brick to get this wine at such low price.
Top Value!

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2015 | Send Email
Those of you who prefer your Willamette Pinot on the warmer and riper side will love this bottle-aged bargain. This is smooth and plush but showing a spicy edge to the bold fruit. Several years of bottle age have softened the tannins and rounded the edges allowing the slightest hint of savory and smoky notes to emerge.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.
Alcohol Content (%): 14