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A blend of 81% Oregon Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley estates and the remainder from the Celilo Vineyard in neighboring Washington State, the 1999 Cristom Oregon Washington Pinot Gris has it all. A limpid, pale, straw-colored robe recalls this varietal’s connection to Italian Pinot Grigio, while the complex fruit, spice and earth tone in the aroma underscores the grape’s Alsatian relation. Melon, pear, dried apple, spring sap, even hints of honeysuckle are present in the bouquet. On the palate, the Cristom is lush but nicely balanced, structured and dry with hints of anise and yeast on the finish. Wow! Serve this beauty cold, but definitely allow it to sit a few minutes in the glass to unfold.
If you serve the 1999 Cristom Oregon Washington Pinot Gris at a party and you are sure to go broke! You will definitely go through more than a couple of bottles, as the wine definitely goes down that easy. So better save it to serve to special guests as an aperitif. Smoked salmon, fish quenelles or other light, uncomplicated fare would be out first choices with this wine. Shrimp with lightly stir-fried yellow pepper, zucchini and Vidalia onions is another fine suggestion: we have enjoyed this dish more than once with the Cristom. But, whatever you do, don’t overpower this lovely, fresh, ever so pure wine, and enjoy!
Cristom has long been one of our favorite northwest wineries. Specializing in what Oregon has proven to the world what it does best, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, Cristom turns out some of the most enjoyable, full-flavored wines in the state. Using high-density plantings of the best clones, Cristom’s wines are renowned for their low yields and intense natural flavors. What has surprised and has delighted consumers for years is how adept Cristom is each vintage, at turning out several bottlings of both Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir – all with unique characteristics, but an equal degree of breed and elegance. Some say it is the natural or wild yeasts in the six estate vineyards at Cristom that account for this winery’s quality quotient, while others point to Cristom’s minimal intervention and gentle handling of the grapes and resulting wine. Whatever it is, we wish we could get a heck of a lot more of this estate’s wines. Due to a small, allocated supply and great demand, we are only able to offer Cristom’s wines to our special white wine only customers.
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