Cristom Winery Tasting at WWWB

Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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A mind of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows. - George Bernard Shaw on wine


We like cows but we like wine better!


We have two great Oregon wine tastings next week and I will never forget the first trip that I made to Oregon’s wine country it was the summer of 1994 for the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) this is one of the best wine parties that I have ever attended. The festival is limited to 500 attendees as it is hosted by McMinnville College and that is all they can accommodate in their lecture facilities. I remember not only were the quality of the wines at the highest level but the people in attendance were some of the most passionate Pinot Noir lovers that I had ever come across. And although winemaking began in the 19th century in this state it is only recently that its potential has been recognized by the rest of the world.

One of the stops that I made on my firsty trip to Oregon wine country was to see Steve Doerner the winemaker at Cristom Winery.   I had met when he was with Calera Winery a few years before and wondered why he would leave one of the top producers in California to go to the sleepy Willamette Valley as Calera was one of the founding fathers of great Burgundian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Central Coast of California. I knew if Steve left this iconic producer that the terroir for Cristom had to be special.  Well it is over 20 years later and Steve must love it in Oregon because he is still there and he must still see the potential of Cristom's dirt as he is still the winemaker here. This is one of the things that it takes to make great wines and that's consistendy and one of the things that gives a winery consistency of style– the same winemaker for almost three decades.

Join us was we welcome Wine Watch’s good friend Randy Ford formerly of King Estate Winery to host the first Cristom Wine Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar.  Randy is now the VP of Sales and marketing and will be bringing an older vintage of Cristom Pinot Noir from the winery to share with our Wine Drinking People along with all the wines on this offering and a special tasting menu to accompany the wines.  The fee for this event which includes dinner is $75+ tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

Image result for cristom wineryImage result for cristom randy ford

Cristom Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar with special Guest Randy Ford
Thursday, August 9th

2016 Estate Pinot Gris

Cristom Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2016
Price: $21.50        Sale $18.92

The 2016 Estate Pinot Gris exudes fruit aromas of clingstone peach and honeydew melon, and white floral aromas like sweet autumn clematis, gardenia, jasmine and Lily of the Valley. The wine is stylistically dry and food-friendly, with fine phenolics and a lovely finish with subtle, silky creaminess.

Image result for Cristom Viognier Willamette Valley 2016

Cristom Viognier Willamette Valley 2016
Price: $33.25        Sale $29.26

The 2016 Cristom Vineyards Estate Viognier exhibits the pure, and nearly textbook, characteristics of this varietal, with aromas of orange blossoms, honeysuckle, clover, and anise as well as the ripe fruit aromas of peach, apricot, and lychee.  Slightly viscous on the palate, with bright and mouth watering acidity that support the fruit structure of the wine, it is well integrated and perfectly balanced.

Image result for Cristom Pinot Noir Mount Jefferson Willamette Valley 2016

Cristom Pinot Noir Mount Jefferson Willamette Valley 2016             
Price: $39.00        Sale $34.32

This is a blend of estate vineyards and some sourced fruit from neighboring vineyards in the Willamette Valley. 

Image result for Cristom Estate Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2014

Cristom Estate Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2014   
Price: $54.00        Sale $47.52

(95 points) "Bright red. Suave, smoke-accented aromas of raspberry preserves, pungent flowers, incense and cola, along with a hint of allspice in the background. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering intense red berry, allspice and floral pastille flavors that are sharpened by a jolt of zesty acidity. Shows superb clarity and spicy bite on a long, penetrating finish shaped by silky, even tannins. The interplay of power and finesse here is really something." Drinking window 2020-2027  Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2018

Image result for Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2015

Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2015 
Price: $69.00        Sale $60.72

(94 points) "Vivid red. Ripe red fruits, potpourri and a hint of blood orange on the assertively perfumed nose, lifted by a vibrant mineral quality. Silky and precise on the palate, offering alluringly sweet, spice-tinged cherry and raspberry liqueur flavors and a hint of five-spice powder. Becomes richer with air, with no loss of vibrancy, and finishes with powerful, spicy thrust, fine-grained tannins and an exotic floral pastille note that lingers with serious tenacity." Drinking Window 2021-2027 Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2018

Image result for Cristom Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2015

Cristom Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2015
Price: $69.00        Sale $60.72

(94 points) "Deep red. Expansive, spice-accented red fruit and spicecake aromas show excellent clarity and pick up suggestions of cola and sandalwood with air. Juicy, focused and appealingly sweet, offering intense black raspberry, cherry pie and five-spice powder flavors that tighten up steadily on the back half. Shows outstanding energy and clarity and finishes sappy and impressively long, featuring discreet tannins and an emphatic echo of juicy red fruit." Drinking Window 2021-2028  Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2018



Charcuterie Selection

Tuna Carpaccio with fresh shaved Black Truffles and Lavender scented Ciacci Piccolomini Olive Oil

Filet Mignon Tartar with Crispy Leeks and Quail Egg Roasted Shallot Aioli and Parmesan Crisps

Fried Chicken Stuffed with Foie Gras Mousse served with Epoisses Mashed Potatoes and Pinot Noir Cherry Gravy


This is a seated event and is limited to 24 tasters, the fee for this tasting and dinner is $75 per person + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

(Please let us know when you make your reservations if you have dietary restrictions and Toni will be happy to accommodate you)


A bit about Cristom Winery:


Cristom Vineyards began a quarter of a century ago as a collaboration between an engineer and a biochemist who each possessed a deep-rooted respect for the land, the natural winemaking process, and Pinot Noir. 25 years later, second-generation winegrower and owner Tom Gerrie leads winemaker Steve Doerner and our tenured viticulture team in tending our Estate vineyards, and producing elegant, dynamic wines, recognizable by our hallmark style of whole-cluster fermentation by native yeasts.

Our winemaking philosophy begins with respect for our land and estate vines. We're proud to be Certified Sustainable by Low Input Viticulture & Enology (LIVE), both in our winery which we run responsibly, and in our fields, that are thoughtfully and meticulously farmed with a focus on quality.

The four estate Pinot Noir vineyards - Eileen, Jessie, Louise and Marjorie, named for Gerrie family matriarchs - each possess natural variances in soil, elevation and exposition. With minimal intervention during the winemaking process, Tom, Steve and team strive to craft wines that are an honest recording of both the vineyard and the vintage, producing the ultimate expressions of the stellar fruit we’re fortunate enough to work with. Recognized globally as a leading producer in our beloved Willamette Valley, our wines continue to be a unique blend of tradition, modernity and finesse.


A bit about the Founding Fathers Paul Gerrie:

After graduating from University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Engineering, I became interested in wine. I started with French bottles (with the occasional California jug tossed in) and can still remember my first exceptional Pinot noir. It was a 1980 Echezeaux and it was astonishing. From that point on I was hooked on Pinot!

Around 1990, I started looking for a career change that would be interesting and challenging. Despite the fact that I lived on the East Coast, the first thing that came to mind was the wine business. Around that time, some friends invited my wife and me to attend the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in McMinnville, Oregon. During our 1991 visit, we fell in love with Oregon and began to think it would be a good place to raise our young family. Soon after, I was introduced to Mike Etzel who helped me to find land that would produce great Pinot noir grapes. Mike found the site that is now Cristom.

In the summer of 1992, my wife Eileen and our children, Christine and Tom and I moved from Pennsylvania to Oregon. There has been no looking back. Through serendipity and good fortune, we were able to hire Steve Doerner as our winemaker, and Mark Feltz as our vineyard manager. Our first vintage was in 1992 and we were up and running. Twenty years later, we are still trying to make the best Pinot Noir on the planet!


A bit about winemaker Steve Doerner:

In 1992, after working for Calera (a California Pinot Noir producer) for 14 years, I was ready for a change. I identified two goals to help determine where I wanted to work next. First, I wanted to continue making Pinot Noir, and second I wanted to work for a small company. It didn’t take much persuasion from Paul Gerrie to convince me that Oregon was the place and that Cristom was the company. At the time it seemed like a hard decision but it’s been twenty years now, and I’ve never looked back.

My goal is to make wines that have balance, wines that have weight and power and finesse and elegance. I’ve honed my craft by traveling and studying winemaking around the world. I’ve been to Chile, Italy, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. But Oregon is always home and I like working at Cristom because it’s so varied. My work is influenced by the seasons and by a constant desire to meld the art of winemaking with the terroir of the Willamette Valley. Of course I’m incredibly proud of our Pinot noirs, but also of our exceptional Chardonnay, Viognier, and Syrah.


A bit about our host VP of Sales, U.S. & International Randy Ford:

Randy comes to Cristom after spending 10 years with one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading wine producers, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Sales.  He began his wine career in the restaurant business before spending 12 years in distribution, earning a master level wine certification in 2004.  Randy brings tremendous passion for fine wine, and a natural ability to teach, guide and grow markets.  He is a relationship builder, and outstanding communicator with a knack for telling the stories that create attention, relevance and staying power in the international market.  Everywhere Randy has worked, he has left growth, success, and deep working relationships in his wake; sincerely, he is one of the finest wine executives in the country.  Based in Florida, Randy will be a presence on the east coast further developing some of the strongest business relationships we have in the country. 

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