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Cristom Vineyards

Cristom Vineyards If making wine was put to music, harvest would be the trumpet fanfare. It marks an end to months of methodical work in the vineyards and heralds new beginnings. A calendar year becomes a vintage ... raw fruit becomes fine wine. If the crush were a symphony, Cristom winemaker Steve Doerner would conduct it with graceful, almost intuitive movement. He grew familiar the rhythm during 14 years of fashioning fine wines in California. Today he is acclaimed internationally as a master of the world's most challenging ... and most rewarding grape: the Pinot Noir. Steve: "Only Pinot Noir can give you a silky finesse that also has depth and power. You can't achieve that harmony with other grape varieties." At Cristom that harmony is hallmark. In the winery, Steve blends contemporary technology with age-old winemaking traditions. Native yeasts transform the juice into wine. Gravity guides it from tank to barrel. The rich, new wine is allowed to mature slowly in cool, subterranean cellars. The wines are unfiltered. Only the finest barrels are blended into finished wines. Steve: "A winemaker's job is to optimize what nature, the vineyard provides. It all starts there." From the first clip of the pruning shears on a rainy January morning, Cristom Vineyard Manager Mark Feltz insures that every vine of the Cristom estate produces the finest fruit, vintage after vintage. Stitched into the earth above the winery are row after row of the finest Pinot Noir clones. It is a high density planting: 2,300 vines in a single acre force roots deep into the hillsides and intense flavors into the fruit.


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6905 Spring Valley Road NW, Salem, OR, US, 97304 Email:
Phone: 503-375-3068 Web:
Fax: 503-391-7057
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  Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir
This Pinot Noir from the excellent 2002 Vintage has a dark ruby color and deep aromas of cassis and ripe black cherries. The wine has great focus on the palate with ripe black fruits dominating the slight gaminess and hints of oak. Rich texture and fine grained tannins complete the package on this well balanced wine. Although this wine is drinking very well right now, it should continue to age and improve for 5 to 10 years.
  Germaine Vineyard Chardonnay
Germaine is the name of our estate Chardonnay vineyard. It was planted in 1995 at a density of 2300 vines to the acre. It is an east facing slope on volcanic based soil. Dijon clone 95, on 3309 rootstock was chosen as the plant material to insure ripening even in cooler vintages.
  Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir
This garnet colored wine exhibits explosive, complex ripe red fruit aromas along with hints of spice, flowers and savory steak tartar. The flavors mirror some of the aromas although the complexity of the fruit and spices defiantly overshadowed the raw meat character I found in the nose. This is a relatively mouth filling wine that has great texture and balance. It is powerful but yet at the same time not overpowering. Although drinking well now it will surly reward aging.
  Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir
This medium ruby colored Pinot Noir has great complex aromas of. blackberries, raspberries, currants and pomegranates along with hints of cinnamon and cloves. The palate bursts with fresh ripe fruit along with just a touch of earthiness. This is a very well balanced wine that has just enough acid to make it seem juicy. The tannins are ripe and smooth but there are enough of them to warrant additional ageing for quite a few years. -Steve Doerner, Winemaker
  Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir
This ruby colored wine has a perfumed aroma of ripe fruits and dried herbs. There are hints of licorice and black cherries along with cloves, black tea, and vanilla from the oak. The savory flavors are of ripe red and black fruits and have traces of gaminess along with a slight impression of sweetness. This relatively soft textured wine is very juicy and although it is very easy to drink now, great balance and length in the finish should allow this wine to develop for an additional five to ten years. -Steve Doerner, Winemaker
  Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir
This deep ruby colored Pinot Noir as a very exotic and complex nose that includes black cherries, cassis, raspberries, cedar, cinnamon, cola, roses, licorice, and hints of pepper and smoked meat. The flavors are equally exotic and evolving . There are lots of black fruits mingling with the spicy, briary gaminess along with hints of tasted oak and vanilla. This wine is multidimensional which demands multiple tastes just to grasp them all. There is a very nice backbone of acid and tannin that runs throughout giving this wine exceptional balance and length. This may be the best Mt Jefferson Cuvee that we've produced to date and I'm sure it will improve with further ageing.
  Pinot Gris
This pale yellow Pinot Gris has aromas of peach, melon, apple, pear, and hints of orange blossom, citrus fruits and spice. The flavors are consistent with the nose with perhaps a bit of honeysuckle and the slightest touch of wood also apparent. This is a medium bodied wine with very clean flavors and nice focus on the fruit. Although it has undergone a complete malo -lactic fermentation, there is still plenty of natural acidity to keep the wine refreshing and should enable it to be partnered well with a variety of foods.
  Reserve Pinot Noir
The 2002 vintage was one of the best vintages we've seen out of a string of strong vintages. The harvest was warm and dry, and we were able to pick at our leisure when the fruit was optimally ripe. This Reserve Pinot Noir is a deep ruby color. It exhibits complex aromas of fresh fruits, wild berries and exotic spices. The flavors are ripe and juicy with hints meat and toasty oak in the background. The mid palate is medium weight with nice juicy acidity and just enough tannin to give the wine a nice long finish. The complexity of this wine should enable it to match with a variety of different foods.
  Reserve Pinot Noir
This wine comes from a blend of nine different vineyard sites including four estate vineyards all within the Willamette Valley. The "Reserve" designation means that it is a barrel selection of our favorite lots as well as being aged longer in the barrels. Sixty Six percent of the fruit comes from our own vineyard. The final blend consists of seven different clones.
This inky purple, almost opaque, Syrah has classic aromas of white pepper, spice , leather and the slightest touch of tobacco along with a generous amount of fruit. There is also a hint of gameness that continues from the nose onto the broad palate. In the mouth the wine is rich and generous without seeming over the top. There is lots of clean ripe fruit underlain with youthful tannins. Great balance and lots of juicy acidity means this tightly wound wine should enjoy a long future.
Until relatively recently, this variety was found almost exclusively in the small northern Rhone appellation known as Condrieu, where it's ancestry could be traced to Roman times. Although today it is a bit more widely planted, it is still extremely rare in the Willamette Valley. We have planted this variety on our warmest spot in the vineyard. We currently have just over an acre producing with another beginning to come on line in 2005.


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