J. Christopher Appassionata Pinot Noir 2008
Now legendary, 2008 was a nearly perfect vintage in Oregon. A long, cool growing season resulted in a small crop (about 20 percent below average) that benefited from long hang time — the ideal conditions for Pinot Noir. Beautiful weather during harvest allowed to be picked at optimal ripeness. This combination of conditions made it possible to produce dense, concentrated wines with excellent Old World structure and elegance.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2008 rendition of Apassionata, the current release, is naturally more expressive than the 2014 but is still a very youthful, vibrant wine. A nose of juicy cherry, rich soil and a hint of espresso precedes a wine with lovely savoury complexity and tense but melting structural elements.
Located in Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley, J. Christopher Wines is a boutique winery that specializes in Pinot Noir made in the traditional style of Burgundy, and in Sauvignon Blanc modeled after the superlative wines of Sancerre. The winery is owned by world renowned Ernst Loosen, of Weingut Dr. Loosen in Germany. Erni’s lifetime passion for the wines of Burgundy has led to a philosophy to produce elegant, nuanced wines in a distinctly Old World style with an emphasis on lower alcohol and a modest amount of oak. The wines have garnered an international reputation for their purity, balance and food-friendly drinkability.
Home of the first Pinot noir vineyard of the Willamette Valley, planted by David Lett of Eyrie Vineyard in 1966, today the Dundee Hills AVA remains the most densely planted AVA in the valley (and state). To its north sits the Chehalem Valley and to its south, runs the Willamette River. Within the region’s 12,500 acres, about 1,700 are planted to vine on predominantly basalt-based, volcanic, Jory soil.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”