The ‘Sommers’ is comprised of grapes from four estate vineyards along with some purchased fruit from fourteen vineyard sites. It is as good as ever. Consistently the best Pinot I try from the USA. Very pretty, red berries, floral, sweet spice, elegant and nuanced. Everything on the palate screams drink me now! It is seamless, pretty and pleasing. The balance of the wine does offer promise for further improvement over the next 5-10 years.
Cristom, one of the Willamette Valley’s finest wineries, produces superb Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Viognier. Using natural methods, native yeast and minimal handling, winemaker Steve Doerner – a seasoned Californian winemaker with 14 years experience at the highly regarded Calera vineyard – uses new world technology with old world traditions.
Pinot Noir – This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.
Willamette Valley – The most famous of the Oregon wine country and for good reason: This is possibly the best place in the USA for Pinot Noir. The wines retain an elegance and class due to the cool climate and moist conditions.