Pinot Noir, ‘Mt. Jefferson Cuvee’, Cristom
Cristom Vineyards named their Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Mt. Jefferson Cuvée, in 1994 after Mount Jefferson (10,495 feet, 3,199 m), located in the Cascade Range, due east of the winery and dramatically visible from our tasting room. ‘Mt. Jeff’ is crafted in a vibrant and expressive style and has earned a reputation for consistency making it among the most popular wines on restaurant wine lists in America.
Mt. Jefferson Cuvée is a blend of the Cristom estate Pinot Noir vineyards along with fruit we source from neighboring vineyards in the Willamette Valley. The vineyard sites we have thoughtfully selected over the years are planted on a variety of soil types, elevations and aspects and represent the Willamette Valley Appellation as a broader whole. The vineyards are farmed by committed winegrowers we are proud to partner with, some for more than two decades, each and every one making a contribution to the ‘Mt. Jeff”. Each vineyard site adds to the character, fruit and structure of the wine, giving Mt. Jeff its deserved reputation as one of the most stylistically consistent Pinot Noirs in the world.
After tasting multiple times through every lot of the vintage, it is the ‘Mt. Jeff’ blend that their original winemaker crafts first. Whole-cluster fermentations by native yeast followed by extended aging in French oak are the hallmarks of the Cristom winemaking style. This wine ages in barrel for twelve months and can stylistically be the most fresh and approachable of the Cristom Pinot Noirs in its youth. You can call it your ‘school-night’ Pinot.
• Hand harvested and hand sorted
• 31% whole clusters
• No cold soak before primary fermentation
• Minimum effective additions of sulfur and tartaric acid
• Native yeast fermentations
• 1-3 punch-downs daily in 1-7 ton open-top fermenters
• Gently pressed in a pneumatic bladder press and moved to barrel by gravity, and never racked, unless necessary
• Undergoes a full malolactic fermentation in barrel
• Fined with egg whites, unfiltered
Aged 12 months in French cooperage, 18% new oak