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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cristom Wines from Oregon

Cristom Vineyards is a relatively new label, hailing from the Willamette Valley in Oregon USA. Willamette Valley is a USA AVA.
Pardon my TLA (Three Letter Acronym).  AVA = American Viticultural Area. That is, a designated wine growing region within the United States of America and distinguishable by geographic features and boundaries. (Not unlike the French appellation controll√© system). Oregon, in general, is famous for its Pinot Noirs and cooler climate grape varieties
Cristom Vineyards is the result of collaboration since 1992, between an engineer, a winemaker and a farmer. Founder Paul Gerrie hired winemaker Steve Doerner and Vineyard Manager Mark Feltz in 1992. Together at the winery since day one, they have consistently produced excellent wines.
Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Oregon USA Viognier 2014 $NZD 40
Sealed with a very smart glass stopper. Fermented in a combination of stainless steel and oak, it is pale gold in the glass and smells of poached pear with a whiff of blond tobacco and vanilla. In the mouth it starts with subtlety then broadens out with peach, clover honey, quince and nectarine and then closes with an elegant and lengthy dry palate.

Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Willamette Valley Oregon USA Pinot Noir 2013 $NZD 40
Very much in the Burgundian Pinot Noir style. Translucent and a bit shy in the aromas, but has a whiff of plum, and savoury truffle. Lean and elegant, with mildly astringent tannins and mainly earthy flavours, plus plum, black currant, truffle and dark chocolate.

Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Oregon USA Pinot Noir 2013 $NZD 65
Definitely a step up from the Mt. Jefferson. Again a translucent garnet red colour. This time a bit more aromatic concentration with spice, white pepper, pot pourri, red fruit compote. In the mouth it opens up silky, fruity and generous with spiced plum, liquorice, and a cocktail of ripe berry fruit.
Stunningly good. Classically nuanced Burgundian style Pinot.

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