Cristom Vineyards 2019 Louise Vineyard Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills, $55

By on September 19, 2021

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the forward-thinking Gerrie family launching Cristom Vineyards in the hills northwest of Oregon’s capital city, and their star-studded team continues to craft some of the region’s best examples of Burgundy varieties. Louise Dinkelspiel was Paul Gerrie’s maternal grandmother, and the 18-acre vineyard he named as a tribute to her ranges from 290 to 440 feet in elevation, making it one of the lowest-elevation plantings at Cristom. Steve Doerner’s decades of working with the clone 95 Chardonnay, native to Côte-d’Or, is evident with this brilliant and fascinating example. It’s remarkably fruit-focused from start to finish, opening with a range of aromatics akin to white peach, apricot, starfruit and jicama while picking up jasmine and white pepper. There’s great weight on the entry to the palate — influenced by the seven months in a barrel program of 20% new French oak — as it moves from lychee and Golden Delicious apple while adding more jasmine and lemon zest toward the vibrant finish. Those who appreciate dry Riesling will enjoy this style of Chardonnay.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 125 cases

Alcohol 13%

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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