The development of Cristom Vineyards is the result of a twenty-plus-year collaboration between an engineer, a winemaker and a farmer – who are, first and foremost, stewards of the land. Founder Paul Gerrie hired Cristom’s winemaker Steve Doerner and Vineyard Manager Mark Feltz in 1992. Together at the winery since day one, they have consistently produced masterful and expressive Pinot Noirs. The four estate Pinot Noir vineyards – Eileen, Jessie, Louise and Marjorie – are named for Gerrie family matriarchs. Each single vineyard has its own natural variances in soil, elevation and exposition, and Steve strives to craft wines that are an honest recording of both the vineyard and vintage. While we are widely recognized for our single vineyard wines, nowhere is Steve’s gift for blending more apparent than in our hallmark Pinot Noir cuvees, Mt. Jefferson Cuvee and Sommers Reserve. Our winegrowing philosophy begins with respect for our land and estate vines, and the natural process of fermentation. The vineyards and winery are Certified Sustainable by Low Input Viticulture & Enology (LIVE) and are thoughtfully and meticulously farmed with a focus on quality. With minimal intervention during the winemaking process, Steve guides the wines from vineyard to bottle, producing the ultimate expressions of the stellar fruit Mark grows every vintage. The story of the Cristom estate is continuing to grow and evolve as we began planting a fifth single vineyard in 2014 named after our founder, Paul. A spectacular east-facing site in the Eola Hills, Paul Vineyard will help Cristom to become one of the greatest wine estates in the world.
Jessie Vineyard tends to produce Pinot Noirs that we recognize by a savory aroma that often calls to mind rare-beef. It also tends to have a very fresh and appealing scent of minerality, along with some higher tone lavender-purple flower notes. On the palate, Jessie tends towards a full mouth-feel and a deeper-darker-rounder impression. We find a certain ‘nervosity’ in this wine that describes some part of the tension between the ripe fruit and the structure of the wine.
Medium ruby colored, Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 is a touch reticent on the nose, opening to broody scents of black cherries and licorice with notes of herbs, Bergamot and grated baking spice with earthy touches of soil and wet leaves. Medium to full-bodied and wonderfully silky in the mouth, it’s packed with layers of ripe fruit, spice and earth. It gives fine, firm tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long and very layered. This is wonderfully complex with loads of layers-give it some time in bottle to show its best.