Oregon Archetype

I’ve never met Steve Doerner but if asked what kind of man he must be I’d figure him for a better listener than talker. The kind of person people pay attention to when he does speak, believing that what he has to say must be real important if he’s taking the time to say it. His pinots at Cristom are real good, but the winery doesn’t get all the press of say a Ken Wright Cellars or Archery Summit, so he must be more of a listener than a talker. It seems like people who talk a lot get lots of attention, but that’s what I think and I’ve never met Steve Doerner.

Mt. Jefferson Cuvée was a deep and transparent black cherry-red in the glass. This Willamette Valley pinot offers black cherry and raspberry fruits in a medium-textured wine full of good soft tannin. In fact, this pinot was downright grippy in ample fruit tannin and texturally pleasing from lack of fining or filtration. In many respects Cristom’s Mt. Jefferson Cuvée is the archetypal Oregon pinot noir: the wine shows medium concentration has a wonderful satin-texture and offers Oregon’s signature aromatics of forest-floor and leaf. In short, this is very good and well-made wine.

Aerial view of Cristom Estate

Unfortunately for me, I found Mt. Jefferson Cuvée too sweet while drinking with dinner. Certainly others will disagree, perhaps even preferring this sweeter style, but I believe this pinot would be better balanced, provide greater interest and satisfaction if it finished with less residual sugar. That’s simply my preference. Many will find this pinot’s rich mouthfeel and slightly sweet finish very satisfying indeed. Highly recommended!

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