Cristom Sommers Reserve Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
The 2008 edition of the Sommers Reserve is full of promise! Swirled in the glass, there's a riot of intriguing and complex aromas that seem to change every time you revisit your glass. It does reveal a pleasant brambly and green quality that brings to mind basil and and an entire blackberry bush—leaves--berries and thorns. Add a hint of faded rose petal and dust the whole picture with cocoa powder and wait about two years, when more will be revealed. Take a sip, and be prepared for a voluptuous, juicy and very balanced wine that tastes of savory spices, rare beef and vanilla. This is the only the 'first act' for this gorgeous cellar candidate.
Wine & Spirits - "The reserve, a selection of the best barrels given extended aging in wood, shows the tremendous poise that could be achieved in the 2008 vintage. Its earthy scents of forest floor and stem spice are all in the service of plummy, black cherry fruit. The flavors are generous but not demonstrative, the tension between fruit and earth a quiet drama in the wine, finishing with grace."
Wine Spectator - "Supple, with a mineral, hot brick undertone to the dark berry and roasted meat flavors. Open-textured finish. Drink now through 2018. 2,058 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Pinot Noir Sommers Reserve spent 6 months longer in a higher percentage of new oak than the Jefferson bottling. It exhibits a whiff of toast along with meaty black fruit notes, spice box, and incense. On the palate it displays an elegant personality along with intense fruit flavors, good balance, and enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years. It will deliver prime drinking from 2012 to 2020. "
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid ruby. Pungent aromas of red berry and cherry skin, incense and blood orange. Energetic and gently sweet on the palate, offering sappy redcurrant and cherry flavors that turn spicier with air. Tannins build with air and add grip to the long, focused, spice-accented finish. This will age on its balance."
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Utilizing Old World winemaking techniques - whole clusters, native yeast fermentation, and gentle and minimal handling - Cristom handcrafts wines that are smooth, elegant and subtle.
These characteristics have earned Cristom distinction among wine enthusiasts and industry leaders alike, including being named 'Best New World Red' by Decanter magazine.
Our 65-acre estate in the Eola Hills of Oregon's Willamette Valley offers a long growing season, mild climate, warm winds and ancient volcanic soils that make it ideally suited to grow Pinot Noir and other traditional French varietals. View all Cristom Vineyards Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley are are number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.