Cristom Vineyards "Louise Vineyard" Chardonnay 2021 (Willamette Valley, Oregon) - [IWR 95] [DM 95] [JS 94] [JD 94] [W&S 94] [VM 94] [WE 93]

Cristom Vineyards "Louise Vineyard" Chardonnay 2021
(Willamette Valley, Oregon) - [IWR 95] [DM 95] [JS 94] [JD 94] [W&S 94] [VM 94] [WE 93]

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IWR95 DM95 JS94 JD94 W&S94 VM94 WE93
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About the Winery: 
In 2012, 20 years after founding Cristom, Paul Gerrie made the decision to retire and pass the reigns to his son Tom. Tom joined the Cristom Vineyards production team full-time in 2007 and in 2012 he began overseeing all aspects of production, both in the winery and in the vineyard. He started transitioning the estate to Biodynamic farming in 2017 and is working hard to lead and build on the foundation of the great winegrowing team his father assembled, and inspire innovation to drive the company forward with a 100-year vision. Today, Cristom embodies this vision of "letting the land make the wines". In fact, the vineyards and winery are now Certified Sustainable by the Oregon LIVE program (Low Input Viticulture and Enology).

There are 60+ acres in vine on the 130-acre property. The vineyards are planted at a high density of around 2,300 vines per acre and cropped to produce about 2 tons of fruit per acre.

About the Wine:
When planting began on the estate in 1993, founder Paul Gerrie reserved a special hillside for Chardonnay. Between 1993-1995, the steepest part of the Louise Vineyard hillside was planted to Dijon clones of Chardonnay.  In time, much of the Chardonnay was grafted to Pinot Noir, and what remains is 0.5 acres (0.202 hectares) of Dijon (French/Bernard) clone 95 on the northern edge of Louise Vineyard predominantly planted on a moderately shallow, gravelly Columbia River Basalt soil known as Ritner. The east-facing block is densely planted (2,311 vines/acre (5,710 vines/hectare)) and runs east to west down the hillside (365 ft to 320 ft (101 m to 98 m)) on a devigorating rootstock through a cobbly volcanic soil.

Ratings & Reviews

95 Points - International Wine Report:
"Shimmering lemony gold in the glass, this Louise Vineyard Chardonnay from Cristom is scintillating on the nose - think notes of baked pear, lemon curd, dried herbs, allspice, and wet white clay. Tangy and tart on the palate and the finish, give this another year in the bottle before enjoying it as it’s still a baby." - J. Young (Nov 2023)

95 Points - Decanter Magazine:
"An opulent and showy Chardonnay even in its youth. Full malolactic fermentation leaves this wine with plenty of texture and depth. Honeyed aromatics of ripe apricot and spiced pear hint at a real sophistication. Fleshy apricot accents this wine's rich and vivid texture, followed by a tang of lemon curd and a honeyed, candied ginger depth throughout." (May 2023)

94 Points - Wine & Spirits Magazine:
"This smells like sea air—like eating lemon tart on a beach—it’s flavors transporting and uplifting. It has a saline and lemon curd scent, stony and lifted, with tense flavors of lemon and green pear. Very pure and mineral, there’s a modest citrus pin-cushion of fruit that softens rather than sharpens the minerality." (Dec 2023)

94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"Planted in 1995 and taking on more focus and distinction, the 2021 Chardonnay Louise Vineyard opens to a bit of attractive flinty reduction, with notes of lime zest, green apple, and fresh white flowers. Elegant and balanced on the palate, with medium body and a supple mouthfeel, it has energetic but seamless acidity and a more citrus-driven feel on the palate, although it has a soft touch and is approachable now. It should also be great over the coming 8-10 years." (Sep 2023)

94 Points - James Suckling:
"Very pretty nose of jasmine, white rosemary, acacia, white peaches, pears, pie crust, cloves and lemons. Aromatically complex, with elegant and light-footed layers. Medium-bodied. Tight and bright. Drink or hold." (Mar 2023)

94 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2021 Chardonnay Louise Vineyard opens with a decidedly green tinge, mixing crushed Granny Smiths with lime zest and hints of white smoke. This is supple and round with a salty touch up front, adding savoriness as white pit fruits combine with sour citrus to add tension. Residual acidity keeps the mouth watering, as this finishes with incredible length and tension, leaving a crunchy sensation that keeps the taster looking back to the glass for more. The Louise Vineyard refines for eleven months on its lees in 24% new French oak barrels." - Eric Guido (Jan 2024)

93 Points - Wine Enthusiasst:
"Aged 11 months in French oak, 24% new, this majestic Chardonnay sports aromas of fresh-cut grass, slices of chilled Gravenstein apples, pear and a cup of chamomile tea with lemon. Green apples, ginger and lime zest drive the flavor train. The acidity is energetic and the wine's mouthfeel positively vibrates. Enjoy now until 2035." - Michael Alberty (Dec 2023)