Our friends at Artisan Wine Depot (Mountain View, CA, see map below) invited us over for a “French Burgundy vs. Oregon Pinot Noir tasting.” The French burgundies were, well, French. Lots of earthy and mineral flavors and aromas. Oregon was represented by J. Christopher, a small (5,000 cases per year) winery toward the north end of the Willamette Valley. Of the four pinots that were poured, we were especially fond of the J Christopher 2010 Dundee Hills Cuvee Pinot Noir ($33.99). We brought home a bottle and it was even better than what we had tasted at Artisan.
Smoke, cassis, and wild blueberries on the nose followed by licorice, a hint of baking spices, and a long finish of medicinal herbs and nutmeg.
With production of 5,000 cases, these wines rarely make it out of Oregon. We’re fortunate to have access to them through Artisan. This saying on the front page of their website gives their philosophy in a few words: “”If You Make a Wine that Everyone Loves, You’ve Done Something Wrong.” This is true for all grapes, but most especially pinot noir.
The folks at J. Christopher only made 300 cases of this wine. I don’t know how much Artisan has left, but click this link to go directly to the page where you can order it. Disclaimer: Artisan was kind enough to invite us to the tasting at no charge, but we pay full price for all the wines we buy from them.
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