2014 Cristom "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $50)

SKU #1370156 95 points Vinous

 Bright red. Suave, smoke-accented aromas of raspberry preserves, pungent flowers, incense and cola, along with a hint of allspice in the background. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering intense red berry, allspice and floral pastille flavors that are sharpened by a jolt of zesty acidity. Shows superb clarity and spicy bite on a long, penetrating finish shaped by silky, even tannins. The interplay of power and finesse here is really something. (JR)  (1/2018)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 Cristom’s estate blend is firm and concentrated, laced with whole-cluster spice notes of rye, smoke, olive and caraway. The spice adorns dark fruit that practically bristles with potential energy, as if all the wind that passed over the estate is somehow stored in the bottle. It’s lean and savory, umami all the way, with an inky depth that suggests great aging potential.  (10/2017)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Expressive rose petal and black cherry aromas lead to plush and complex raspberry, spice box and dark tea flavors that gain momentum toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2023. (TF)  (2/2018)

91 points James Suckling

 What a beautifully floral nose with orchid, pressed violets, lavender and brambleberries. Compact and medium-bodied this is lined by fine tannins and fresh acidity which brings things to an almond-like finish. Drink now.  (12/2017)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of the four estate single vineyards. Pale ruby-purple in color, the 2014 Pinot Noir Estate is a little mute at this stage, offering notions of cranberries and red currants over earth aromas of tree bark, moss, truffles and Provence herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate is restrained with a quiet intensity of red berry and earthy flavors, supported by fine-grained tannins and lively acid, finishing long. (LPB)  (8/2017)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Half of this wine was fermented with whole clusters and native yeasts then aged for 18 months in 41% new French oak. Its dusty raspberry aromas lead to a midpalate rich with crushed red fruit flavors. It finishes with a savory suggestion of chicken stock, along with well-modulated, drying tannins. (PG)  (2/2018)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's vintage notes: "The 2014 vintage will be remembered as one of the great vintages in Willamette Valley winegrowing history. A warm, but nearly ideal growing season delivered the rare combination of abundant quantity and exceptional quality fruit that developed into aromatic wines of balance, depth and concentration. Winegrower Tom Gerrie and Winemaker Steve Doerner thoughtfully taste every barrel in the cellar repeatedly over the course of a year as they create our blends. The barrels selected for the Estate Pinot Noir are chosen as a honest representation of both the vineyards and vintage in which they were grown. By blending barrels from all over the Cristom Estate, we can translate an entire vintage into a glass. 55% Eileen Vineyard, 21% Jessie Vineyard, 21% Louise Vineyard, 3% Marjorie Vineyard."


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By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2019 | Send Email
I had the pleasure of visiting Cristom a couple of years ago, and tasting several wines from the barrel alongside the finished products. Not only do they have a beautiful estate, but the wines are fabulous. This 2014 Estate Pinot Noir is a perfect introduction to Cristom. 2014 brought rich fruit, though the Cristom style is more restrained and structured than most, so the combination was dynamite. A few years down the road, and this wine has integrated beautifully.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/30/2018 | Send Email
An absolute knockout from Cristom! A rare bottling from them made possible by the exceptional quality of the 2014 vintage that has gone down as one of the best in recent history. This wine is composed of all estate fruit from Cristom's diverse patchwork of blocks in the Eola-Amity Hills. Fruit from these blocks typically goes into their top tier single block releases: Eileen, Jessie, Marjorie, and Louise. However in 2014 they chose to take some of those best barrels and make a wine that faithfully represented the entire estate in one wine; the result is this 2nd ever release of an "Estate" bottling that encompasses all their Pinot Noir blocks. The result is simply stunning. Crunchy forest berries, black cherry, hard ground spice, sandalwood, bramble, dark rose petals and forest floor. The wine has reams of whole cluster derived tannin and beautiful aromatic lift. It still feels youthfully compact and focused but its potential is unfurling by the day. I think it has at least a decade of beautiful drinking ahead of it. On a recent trip to the Willamette Valley I tasted several hundred top Pinot Noirs and this wine made my top three.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/25/2018 | Send Email
I’ve been a fan of the Cristom Pinot Noir’s ever since I tasted my first bottle in 1996 at the Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. While the setting couldn’t be beat the wine held its own. I was dining at a Swiss restaurant at the hotel. The waiter recommended it to pair with my first foray into the Swiss delicacy of Raclette; melted cheese scraped onto a plate of boiled potatoes, pickled onions, and cornishons. I’ll never forget that meal, or that wine. This is a world class Pinot Noir producer.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
The nose is full of earth, smoke and intrigue backed by hints of menthol and touches of wood. On the palate the wine shows lots of structure, more earth, spice and a bit of grit while the fruit slowly develops. This is a complex, dry and earthy wine that is more savory than fruit driven, I like it’s grit and intrigue but this isn’t a cocktail Pinot this is made for food, for some reason or another I’m thinking venison stew, but any sort of a gamey stew would work. Good finish, nice balance.
Drink from 2018 to 2022

By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
One of my favorite Pinot Noirs I’ve had the chance of trying recently. Hailing from Oregon, the 2014 vintage was warmer than typical, and that is reflected in the aromas of the wine. Ripe berries and cherries are the first notes expressed. A bouquet of rose petal is also present on the back end. On the palate, the wine shows ripe red fruit, especially cherry, along with a firm structure that leads into silky tannins. All the while, there is a pleasant juiciness and bright acidity that cuts through the ripeness of the fruit. Hints of spice on the finish. A layered and complex Pinot Noir that while priced under-$40 drinks as if it were $50 or more

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
This might be the best drinking current release that I have had from Oregon! I love the translucent ruby color, the complex nose of red cherry, bacon and vanilla as well as the developed, silky texture. While I was tasting it, all I could think about is Oregon plank salmon, and how well this purely Oregonian wine would go with the noble, grilled on the wood fish.
Drink from 2018 to 2034

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
I visited Willamette Valley in June 2014. We walked the famous Bethel Heights to Cristom walk in the Eola Amity Hills AVA. It was hot and the season was off to a strong but early start, with locals claiming you could nearly see the vines' growth in a single day. Given the conditions, I was surprised how much grace, poise, and Willamette spicy typicity was on display with this bottle of Cristom, a selection of their estate vineyards in a cuvee that is a step up from their Mt. Jefferson bottling. Must be a combination of great vineyards, stem inclusion, skillful blending and time in bottle, but this is a Pinot Noir that is delicious now and will absolutely continue to develop nicely for a while yet.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
Cristom has knocked it out of the park on this estate offering. This combo of their single vineyards comes together with tremendous grace. The 2014 vintage in Oregon can be quite ripe and there is certainly no shortage of beautiful fruit here, but there is also savor and freshness. The alcohol is supremely well managed for such a ripe vintage coming in at a modest 13.5 and allowing the incredible terroir of Eola Amity Hills to shine. Considering I'm still drinking my 2008 Cristom pinots to great enjoyment, I expect these beauties to last a very long time.

By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/23/2018 | Send Email
This wine is an unbelievable value from Cristom Estate! The blend is based on barrel selections from several Estate blocks in Eola Amity Hills. 2014 was a warmer vintage in Willamette Valley, and the complex aromatics and relatively juicy palate reflect this. Aromas of fresh rose petal, orange blossom, ripe strawberry, tamarind and umami lead to a medium bodied, but beautifully structured palate. This wine is unfined and unfiltered, and as a result, subtly dark herbaceous notes peek through the bright fruit. With balanced acidity and powerful minerality, this wine finishes clean, in a flourish of fine, firm, mouth coating tannins.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Oregon

- 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