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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adventures in Oregon, Sampling the Cristom Pinot Noirs

Last time my brother Jim and I were in Salem, we tracked down Cristom Vineyards and barged in on winemaker Steve Doerner. We had just spent a week traveling the Oregon coast and our favorite pinot of that trip was a Cristom Jessie Vineyard served at the Portland den of fine Northwestern cuisine, Wildwood. On this latest trip, we called Doerner well in advance and were greeted by him and the owner’s daughter, Christine Gerrie, the Cris in Cristom (along with her brother Tom). Many of the Oregon pinots are bright, redolent of fruit, have a fine nose, but on his small plot, Doerner has managed to bring layers of complexity to his wine. The Jessie, for example, named for the owner’s grandmother, has hints of black cherries, tangy plum, and cinnamon, with a smooth finish that will have you reaching for your credit card to order a case, the exact move my brother and I made. The Marjorie Vineyard, named for the owner's mother, is bigger and bolder than Jessie but has that same soft finish, with a nose full of black raspberry. At most wine tastings, I’m happy to spit. But when you make it to Cristom as infrequently as I do, you take your time, luxuriating in the wine and drink every drop, even if it is only 11 in the morning.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/20/13 at 12:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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