Perhaps the best thing to be said about this wine is how much it compelled us to want to drink more of it. Grown at Cristom’s highest-elevation vineyard, this is captivating from start to finish, by turns propulsive and generous, light and penetrating, invigorating in its earthy lavender scents, its wisp of bergamot and cherry. Fully ripe, it maintains a light tone, propelled by vigorous acidity and suspended by a pulsing, mineral grip.
Subtle aromas of cedar, dark berries, tea and orange peel follow through to a full to medium body, compacted fruit and a fine tannin backbone. Excellent acidity as well. Drink in 2019.
Brilliant red. Highly fragrant, expansive scents of ripe red berries, Asian spices, blood orange and candied rose; a smoky mineral element builds in the glass. Silky and seamless in texture, offering palate-staining raspberry and floral pastille flavors that show a striking interplay of depth and vivacity. Closes sweet, gently tannic and impressively long, delivering lingering notes of emphatic red berry, spice and floral pastille. Steve Doerner was a pioneer of whole-cluster fermentation, and to this day few other American producers (and their number increases every vintage) do it so well, much less with such consistency. Doerner’s opulent but finely balanced and highly expressive 2014s are as fine a set of wines as he has made since arriving at Cristom when the winery was founded in 1992, following 14 years as winemaker at California’s trailblazing Calera Winery. They’re quite accessible as well, thanks to their opulent fruit and rounded tannins, so don’t hesitate to give them a shot now for their sheer opulence and alluring perfume. Doerner’s wines also age effortlessly, as their track record will attest, and, in my opinion, they always deliver solid value for world-class Pinot Noir. (JR)
A strikingly perfumed nose mixes notes of spice, Asian-style tea, rose petal and a lovely range of red berry fruit aromas. The ultra-pure and sleek middle weight flavors possess excellent delineation while exhibiting outstanding complexity and sneaky good length on the impeccably well-balanced finale. This elegant effort is positively Volnay-esque in character and it is highly recommended.
Rose petal and black cherry aromas lead to plush and complex raspberry, spice box and dark tea flavors that gain momentum toward polished tannins. (TF)
Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir Eileen is closed to begin with, opening out to expressive Bing cherry, pomegranate and cinnamon stick notes plus suggestions of dried bay leaves, dusty earth and cloves. Medium-bodied, the palate is very fine, fresh and spicy, with wonderfully ripe, silt-like tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long with baking spice nuances. (LPB) 92+
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