Wine Advocate 92 points - The 2012 Pinot Noir Eola Amity Hills Lumiere includes 10% cluster fruit, although Jay Somer told me that there is no intention to rank it up much higher at the moment. It comes from the northeastern flank of the Eola-Amity hills on volcanic soils with a lot of basalt and sees 20 months in 25% new French oak. It has a clean and precise bouquet with red cherries, kirsch and touches of orange sorbet that gain intensity with aeration - great clarity here and a great expression of ”the dirt.” The palate is medium-bodied with sappy ripe, slightly saline fruit, a little grainy texture with good density toward the finish that is a little terse and strict, but displays very fine tension. Superb.
“Lumiere” makes reference to the light that contributes to Eola-Amity Hills’ discernible qualities in Pinot Noir. This terroir wine is made from fruit sourced from two small vineyards; “Dubay” and “Three Angels” on Walnut Road. Silky texture and dark fruits, layered with fine tannins and perfectly balanced acidity, come together in Jay’s newest AVA Pinot Noir.
|The just-completed J. Christopher winery is located in Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley, in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. It is a small winery that specializes in Pinot Noir made using the traditional methods of Burgundy. The winery is also one of the few in Oregon to produce Sauvignon Blanc, modeled after the great wines of Sancerre. Owner Jay Somers has been making wine in Oregon for more than 15 years, and established the J. Christopher brand in 1996. Jay’s wines are hand-crafted in small lots and are sourced from some of the best vineyards in Oregon.
The philosophy at J. Christopher is to produce wines in an Old World style that emphasizes focus, length and balance. As Jay puts it, “We do not make fruit bombs. We want wines that have a fine balance of fruit, acidity and texture. We want wines that give you more than just a big mid-palate blast - wines that are complete.” The key to this, Jay firmly believes, is patient winemaking - it is vital not to rush things and allow the wines to develop naturally. One important example: Jay would never use cultured yeasts to induce malolactic fermentation in his Pinot Noir. This is a New World techique done to facilitate earlier bottling, but Jay feels it is damaging to the wine’s texture and balance. He wants the wines to evolve at their own pace, with a minimum of intervention.