Cristom Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
The Eileen Vineyard is named for Cristom’s co-founder, Eileen Gerrie, mother of second-generation winegrower-owner Tom Gerrie. Original planting of the Eileen Vineyard began in 1997 and was later expanded in 2006, resulting in a total of 16.61 acres. Perched atop the Cristom estate, Eileen is also our highest-elevation vineyard, with commanding views of Oregon’s Cascade Range to the east, and Coastal Range to the west
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Bright red. An intensely perfumed bouquet displays ripe red/blue fruit, baking spice, incense qualities and a strong, mineral overtone. Offers sweet, penetrating raspberry, blueberry, cherry pit, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors that show serious depth as well as vivacity. Displays impressive clarity and spicy thrust on the finish, which features smoothly interwoven tannins and suave, clinging floral and mineral notes.
This pinot, from the top elevations of Cristom’s property, topping out at 720 feet, dramatizes a tension between savory whole-cluster scents and luminous lean-fruit expression. It’s aromatically seductive, with its scents of clove and thyme, lavender and autumn leaves leading into dark cherry flavors. What’s most impressive, though, is the texture, firm but lively, with an acid-tannin matrix that drives the wine with firm, silky intensity.
This has a very bright array of rich red cherries, together with a herbal accent and a thread of rose-like perfume, as well as autumnal leaves and sweet, woody spices. The palate has very assertive red cherries with elegant tannins that are paper-fine, but have combined length and strength. Great detail here. Drink or hold.
Bold, substantial raspberry and black cherry fruits anchor this block selection, wrapped in the drying astringency of tea leaves. The finish lingers gracefully, and a bit more bottle age may help to soften up the tannins.
Cristom Vineyards began a quarter of a century ago as a collaboration between an engineer and a biochemist who each possessed a deep-rooted respect for the land, the natural winemaking process, and Pinot Noir. 25 years later, second-generation winegrower and owner Tom Gerrie leads winemaker Steve Doerner and our tenured viticulture team in tending our Estate vineyards, and producing elegant, dynamic wines, recognizable by our hallmark style of whole-cluster fermentation by native yeasts.
Our winemaking philosophy begins with respect for our land and estate vines. We're proud to be Certified Sustainable by Low Input Viticulture & Enology (LIVE), both in our winery which we run responsibly, and in our fields, that are thoughtfully and meticulously farmed with a focus on quality.
The four estate Pinot Noir vineyards - Eileen, Jessie, Louise and Marjorie, named for Gerrie family matriarchs - each possess natural variances in soil, elevation and exposition. With minimal intervention during the winemaking process, Tom, Steve and team strive to craft wines that are an honest recording of both the vineyard and the vintage, producing the ultimate expressions of the stellar fruit we’re fortunate enough to work with. Recognized globally as a leading producer in our beloved Willamette Valley, our wines continue to be a unique blend of tradition, modernity and finesse.
Running north to south, adjacent to the Willamette River, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA has shallow and well-drained soils created from ancient lava flows (called Jory), marine sediments, rocks and alluvial deposits. These soils force vine roots to dig deep, producing small grapes with great concentration.
Like in the McMinnville sub-AVA, cold Pacific air streams in via the Van Duzer Corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidity in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills wines—namely Pinot noir—their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.