2013 Cristom "Louise Vineyard" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1250020 94 points Vinous

 Deep red. Hugely aromatic bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, incense and Asian spices, along with a bright mineral overtone. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering sweet raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out with air. Delivers a suave blend of power and elegance, finishing with harmonious tannins and remarkable clarity and length. As more and more Pinot Noir producers, including those in California, adjust their winemaking style to a market that's asking for low-octane, graceful wines, Cristom's Steve Doerner, who was a pioneer of the style, has become a sort of wizened visionary for a new generation of winemakers. Doerner, who worked at Burgundy's Domaine Dujac in the late 1970s, began to hone his style, which emphasizes whole-cluster fermentations, at Josh Jensen's Calera Winery in the early 1980s and has further refined it since moving to Oregon to help establish this winery in 1992. While Doerner's style of spicy, highly floral Pinot is now commonplace, that was not the case when he first began to make his mark, a fact that he acknowledges with a shrug and slight embarrassment. While he has made small tweaks here and there to his winemaking style over the decades, he told me he still has the same philosophy, 'which is to get elegant, complex wines that show their place--so pretty simple.' (JR)  (7/2015)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Set at the top of Cristom's excellent lineup, this lush, round and seductive wine is built upon ripe black-cherry fruit. It plays out broadly across the palate, open and smooth, with nuances of cola, sandalwood and spice. Crisp, natural acidity keeps it lifted and lively. Drink now through 2035. (PG)  (4/2016)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A mild touch of reduction does not completely overshadow the otherwise well-layered array of raspberry, cherry, briar and spice-scented nose. The supple, round and delicious flavors possess a velvety mid-palate before concluding in a lingering and solidly complex finish. This is really quite good as well and while it can't quite compete with the best in the range, it is still worth investigating. Note that if you're going to try a bottle young to be sure to allow it 15 to 20 minutes of air first. Drink: 2021+ *Outstanding*  (10/2017)

Wine Spectator

 Light and refreshing, with an edge of clove and pepper to the red berry flavors, lightly veiled with fine tannins as the finish proceeds. (HS, Web-2016)

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Price: $49.99
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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 (%): 13.5