In News, WinesJune 17, 2022

New Releases from The Legendary Cristom

One of Oregon's finest producers and one of the best values in the world of Pinot Noir

Wine & Spirits “Top 100 Wineries of the Year:”
2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011

This winery holds a special place in our collective Dhall & Nash heart – it was our very first imported American wine over 13 years ago! Obviously, we are big fans of this winery and the new releases are, as always, highly-anticipated and totally spectacular!

Today, we could call Cristom an Oregon Pinot Noir dynasty. It has a team that started off great and keeps getting better and better – as their wines bear testimony to.

“Cristom is right at the top of the Oregon tree in terms of quality.”
– Dr Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak

Sited in the Willamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills, Cristom is one of America’s great heritage properties, with a well-deserved reputation. Winemaking has been under the watch of Steve Doerner, a Jacques Seysses (Domaine Dujac) disciple, who has produced every Cristom vintage since the project’s inception in 1993.

Steve’s winemaking style has always been marked by a high proportion of whole-cluster, which contributes an exotic and wide-ranging aromatic profile to his wines, qualities that deepen with time in-bottle. And now with second-generation owner, Tom Gerrie, at Steve’s side on winemaking duties, the Cristom wines continue with remarkable consistency and grace.

A Word About Vintages at Cristom

With thoughtful sensitivity and a ton of experience, the winemakers are adjusting the picking time, the amount of new oak and the percentage of whole cluster to ensure the most successful wine possible each vintage. This isn’t to say that the wines do not reflect vintage, but rather that you can be confident that even in years where other Willamette pinot noirs are feeble or overripe, Cristom has been almost shockingly consistent in their capacity to produce excellence.

Cristom Vineyards Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir 2019

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

Mt. Jefferson Cuvée is Cristom Vineyard’s flagship Pinot noir, offering tremendous complexity of flavour, approachability in its youth, and unparalleled value.

Affectionately known by many happy imbibers, “Mt. Jeff”, is a blend of Pinot Noir from the Cristom Estate vineyards, combined with exceptional fruit sourced from neighbouring sites in the Eola-Amity Hills that are farmed by winegrowers they are proud to partner with. These contributing vineyards are planted across a diverse array of soil types, elevations, and aspects, each adding to the character, fruit, and structure that give “Mt. Jeff” its well-deserved reputation as one of the most stylistically-consistent Pinot Noirs in the world.

“This is very seductive on the nose with ripe strawberry, spice, flowers, and hints of cloves. Full bodied, but very reserved and tight with chewy, polished tannins and a long, long finish. Racy and structured.”
97 Points –

“The caliber of the 2019 Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir, Cristom’s largest-production SKU, is impressive this vintage. Medium ruby-purple, it features savory cranberry sauce, orange peel and tar aromas with tones of dried flowers and spice. The medium-bodied palate offers the pleasing, gently grippy tannins and bright freshness characteristic of Cristom’s generous whole-cluster inclusion, and it finishes with intense, layered fruits and floral accents.”
95 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

““Though each wine tastes distinct, they share a recognisable common identity, with seductive fruit flavours, nuanced spicy undertones, and above all, remarkable grace”
– Paul Lukas on Cristom in ‘Great Wines of America’

Cristom Eileen Vineyards Pinot Noir 2019

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

“Dried-strawberry, rose-stem and wet-earth aromas follow through to a full body with firm, intense tannins, and a flavorful finish. This is structured and very tight at the moment. Give it time to open and show its true self.”
96 Points –

“Medium ruby, the 2019 Pinot Noir Eileen Vineyard is pure, delicate, and so pretty! It has layered aromas of raspberries and blueberries with tangerine peel, aniseed, and an array of earthy accents. Bursting with juicy acidity and super silky in texture, the palate has a weightless feel despite its intense, layered flavors, and it finishes with tremendous length.” 
96 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

“Saturated garnet. Vibrant red fruit, floral and exotic spice qualities on the nose; deeper dark berry and licorice notes arrive with air. Juicy and tightly wound on entry, offering appealingly sweet raspberry, boysenberry, cherry cola, candied lavender and allspice flavors and a touch of vanilla. Shows superb clarity and mineral lift on the persistent finish, which features gently firming tannins and repeating cherry, floral and spice notes. 44% whole clusters and 43% new French oak.”
96 Points – Vinous, Josh Raynolds

Cristom Jessie Vineyards Pinot Noir 2019

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

“The aromas are pretty amazing here with dried flowers, pure fruit, sweet berries, and dark strawberries. It’s full-bodied and very layered with ripe, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Richness with focus. Very drinkable now, but better after 2023.”
96 Points –

“The 2019 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard offers notable layering and purity this vintage. Intense, savory cranberry fruit is accented by tones of charcuterie and sweet balsamic on the nose, and the palate combines that sweet, savory and earthy character in a silky frame, finishing with a flourish of spices and great length.” 
96 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

“Dark garnet. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red and blue fruits, Asian spices, botanical herbs and potpourri, and a smoky mineral top note builds in the glass. Sweet, broad, and supple on entry and then tighter in the midpalate, offering bitter cherry, Chambord, spice cake and floral pastille flavors that show sharp delineation and vibrant lift. The cherry note carries strongly through the impressively long, subtly tannic finish, which leaves lavender and baking spice notes behind. 45% whole clusters and 42% new French oak.”
95 Points – Vinous, Josh Raynolds

Cristom Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2020

New from Cristom & to New Zealand!

New from Cristom and New Zealand!

The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a collection of barrels from benchmark vineyards across the valley, including Cristom’s own estate, ‘declassified’ to make one compelling blend representing the finest expression of the vintage.

What do we mean by ‘declassified’? Well, throughout the history of fine wine, particularly in Europe, iconic brands have chosen to declassify wines depending on vintage conditions and availability of quality fruit. Declassified wines can give consumers entry into some of the greatest terroirs of the world. What an opportunity not to be missed!
Each barrel of this wine receives the same immaculate care and attention to detail as the wines chosen to go into their Mt. Jefferson Cuvée and single vineyard wines only this is crafted to represent the larger Willamette Valley AVA.
Winemaking – Given the environmental factors they faced in the 2020 vintage, they relied on the experience and talent of the Cristom winemaking team to make deliberate stylistic decisions to make the highest quality wine possible. They chose to pick some blocks earlier, destem the fruit, inoculate with yeasts to shorten fermentation time and pressed even lighter to craft elegant, focused Pinot Noir.

Winemaker Notes – The 2020 Cristom Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a fresh wine of precision and focus defined by crunchy acidity and bright red fruit that will be enjoyed in its youth.

“The 2020 Cristom Pinot Noir is sturdy and slightly elevated on the palate. This wine exhibits aromas and flavors of ripe red and black fruits, as well as a hint of minerality. Enjoy it with wood smoked salmon fillets.”
90 Points – Wilfred Wong of

Cristom Louise Vineyards Pinot Noir 2018

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

“Very attractively vivid raspberry, strawberry, and red-cherry aromas on offer here. This is really bathed in ripe fruit and expressed in a very pure mode. The palate has intensity of flavor and piercing depth. The red cherries and plums run so deep and crescendo into an explosive, upbeat finish. Wow factor is high.”
96 Points –

“Brilliant garnet. Assertive red berry preserve, cherry and floral aromas are complemented by sexy Asian spice, incense, and smoky mineral accents. Shows impressive depth and sharp delineation on the palate, offering spice-tinged red and blue fruit liqueur, cola and spice cake flavors that pick up candied rose and blood orange nuances with air. Finishes extremely long and pure, with fine-grained tannins providing shape and grip to lingering black raspberry and five-spice powder notes.” 
95 Points – Vinous, Josh Raynolds

Cristom Louise Vineyards Pinot Noir 2019

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

“I like the richness and freshness on the nose with strawberry and floral aromas and some rose-hip tea. It’s medium-to full-bodied with round tannins and a creamy-textured finish. Lightly chewy, showing the structure and seriousness of the wine.”
95 Points –

94 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate – “The 2019 Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard has a medium ruby color and takes some time to open up its delicate scents of wild red and black berries, prosciutto, aniseed, and potpourri. Seamless and ethereal, the palate is light-bodied and silky with a flourish of dark spices and a long, savory finish.”

“This stunning Pinot Noir from Cristom comes from their oldest vineyard which now is over 25 years old. The wine sees 45% whole cluster fermentation (which I can pick up a bit more in this wine than the others) and 37% new French oak barrels. Red and blue plum, cedary herbs, toasted cinnamon, and a touch of tar explode from the glass. More tart than ripe on the palate, you are greeted with red and black cherry, wet tilled earth, and a hint of toasted baking spice. It’s a nicely balanced wine, with ample acidity and tannin, that will improve over the next year or two and should age for a solid decade. 2022-2032” 
93 Points – International Wine Report, Jeremy Young

Cristom Louise Vineyards Viognier 2020

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

If you’re a nay-sayer to Viognier, well it’s time to change your mind and your palate – try this vivacious and wickedly drinkable shimmering example.

Cristom’s viognier exhibits the pure, nearly textbook characteristics of this varietal, with floral aromas of orange blossoms, honeysuckle, clover, and anise, as well as ripe fruit aromas of peach, apricot, and lychee. Its bright and mouth-watering acidity elegantly supports the classic fruit structure of the wine, showing it is well integrated, vivid, and perfectly balanced.

On the 2015 vintage “Very light platinum color in the glass. Inviting aromas of jasmine and other white flowers, pear, peach, and tropical fruits. Delicious flavors of pear, apricot, and pastry cream, with a hint of tropical fruit and nuts. Slightly creamy in the mouth, with impeccable balance, finishing with a lingering and refreshing presence. One of the New World’s best examples of Viognier.”
93 points – The Pinot File

Cristom Chardonnay 2018

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

“The 2018 Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills, aged 12 months in 31% new French oak, offers fresh orchard fruits with touches of almonds, white flowers, and baker’s yeast. The palate is light-bodied but surprising with its depth of fruit, with soft freshness and a long, delicate finish.”
92 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

Restrained and delicate, this cool chardonnay leads with dry lemon-lime scents. With its tart green-apple flavor, lemon-rind lift and talc-like mineral tang, it’s a Chablis-like chardonnay for oysters.”
91 Points – Wine & Spirits Magazine

For us at Dhall & Nash, there always seems to be some indefinable expression of energy in the Cristom wines in their youth making them pleasurable to drink straight out of the gate. But what has always been true still remains – however good the wine is upon release, in 5-10 years’ time they will be that much better!

Cristom manage to deliver compelling aromas and flavours without sacrificing the light silkiness on the palate that is the hallmark of great wine. There is always elegance, depth, balance, and consistency. Even when Steve’s wines are “powerful”, they possess power in proportion, giving the elements context and telling an always compelling story. It is a story of family, vision, stewardship, and commitment. The beauty of Cristom wines is that they continue to be a unique blend of tradition, modernity, and finesse.

“It feels like something made by angels, rather than guys in work boots”
– Karen MacNeil, Winespeed