Cristom Pinot Noir 2018, Louise Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Planted in 1993, Louise Vineyard was named for Cristom winegrower & owner Tom Gerrie’s great-grandmother, Louise Dinkelspiel. The lowest-elevation Pinot Noir planting on the Cristom estate, Louise Vineyard can be distinctly separated into an “upper” and “lower” section, divided by a 150 ft. (45.7 m) slope. Because of this unique topography, Louise typically has both some of the earliest and latest fruit harvested each year. Winemaking: 49% whole cluster pressed, 100% native yeast fermentations. Gently pressed in a pneumatic bladder press and moved to barrel by gravity. Undergoes a full malolactic fermentation in barrel. Aged 17 months in Franch cooperage, 55% new oak. The 2018 growing season was one of the driest years in the agricultural history of the Willamette Valley, and the driest year in Cristom’s 27 years of farming this land. The overwhelming majority of the Cristom Estate is dry-farmed, thus creating challenges with low water availability. Fortunately, our older vines fared well, their deep roots driving down into the volcanic hillsides, seeking out the water held there. This allowed more ‘hang-time’ for the fruit, creating brighter, blue-fruited wines. Showing surprising complexity and firm structure in their youth, these wines will age well for years to come.