A few samples of recent recognition for our winemaker, Jay Somers, and our wines. Enjoy!
AWARDS AND REVIEWS
J. Christopher Named Wine & Spirits Top 100 Winery!
Wine and Spirits Magazine has chosen J. Christopher as one of the 2017 Top 100 Wineries in the world!!! This is our second year in a row and third in the last four years.
Wine & Spirits Reviews J. Christopher’s 2014 Vintage
“Abbey Ridge Vineyard 2014 – 93 pts – The kinship between this wine and the Sandra Adele (also recommended) is evident in their shared vibrancy, though the fruit here feels riper, a bit more luxurious- from the briary scents to the saturated cherry flavor, and especially in the grip of its supple tannins, commanding and firm in their length. The vibrant acidity gives the finish lift.”
“Sandra Adele 2014 – 93 pts – Sandra Adele takes its name from winemaker Jay Somers’ mother. Its drawn from two vineyards, Abbey Ridge and Charlie’s in Dundee Hills. This vintage has a delicate savor when first poured, with scents of woodsmoke and underbrush suggesting a crisp fall day. The flavors reflect that savory air, centered on a deep red cherry core with exceptional clarity and grace, the finish energized by exuberant acidity.”
“Appassionata Estate Vineyard 2014 – 92 pts – Appassionata is J. Christopher’s first estate bottling, from a new planting within site of the crush pad, on a dramatic south-facing slope. Its scents of cedar and wood smoke are more oak driven than vineyard driven, and yet there’s a soft pine-scented spice that carries through the wine from the moment it strikes the glass, all the way through the languorous finish.”
“Lia’s Vineyard 2014 – 92 pts- Lia’s volcanic site in the Chehalem Mountains, which shows itself in this pinot noir’s savory pine and rosemary oil scents, and in its darker fruit profile. The black cherry here is almost blue in its depth. The wine’s texture is weighted by oak, but there’s a lift and a savory tension on the finish.”
“Chehalem Valley Nuages- 91 pts – A quietly assertive pinot with a dark frame, this leads with a whiff of tar and cinnamon stick, fruit skin, and caramel. All come together with a day’s air, buoyed by vinous tannins that frame teh fruit with an easy elegance.”
“Dundee Hills Cuvee 2014 – 90 pts – This blend of five vineyards is a bit faint when first poured, but its scents of dried cherry and cedar are delicate, its flavors juicy and refined at once, reined in by a lean and elegant texture.”
J. Christopher Named Wine & Spirits Top 100 Winery!
Wine and Spirits Magazine has chosen J. Christopher as one of the 2016 Top 100 Wineries in the world!
“Jay Somers allows his spontaneous fermentations to continue as long as necessary, sometimes into the following spring. This may account for the family resemblance, texturally, in Somer’s appellation wines: Lumiere (Eola- Amity Hills), Nuages (Chehalem Mountains), the Dundee Hills Cuvee, and, not least, the exceptionally well priced Willamette Valley bottling. Taken together they feel sublte and pure, with a clarity of fruit that reflect his harvest triage […].” Read Full Article
Vinous’ Josh Raynolds 2014 Reviews
“Appassionata Vineyard Estate 2014 – 94 pts – Deep red. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, cherry cola, spicecake and rose pastille, along with smoky mineral and vanilla overtones. Shows deeper dark fruit character on the palate, offering energetic, smoke-laced black raspberry and cola flavors enlivened by a spine of juicy acidity. Closes with repeating smokiness, finegrained tannins and outstanding, floral-tinged persistence.”
“Abbey Ridge Vineyard 2014 – 92 pts – (25 percent new oak) Brilliant red. Powerful, spice-laced red berry and rose pastille scents are clemented by hints of smoky minerals and star anise. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering sappy bitter cherry and raspberry flavors that deepen and become sweeter on the back half. Delivers a serious punch of red fruit flavor but comes off lithe and elegant, finishing with impressive persistence and sneaky, fine-grained tannins.”
“Charlie’s Vineyard 2014 – 93 pts – (25 percent new oak) Vivid red. Ripe red berries, cherry cola, musky earth and potpourri on the deeply perfumed nose. Smooth and sweet on entry, then more taut in the mid-palate, offering sharply focused bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors and subtle hints of vanilla and spice-cake. A smoky nuance emerges with air and carries through an impressively long, gently tannic finish, which echoes the floral note.”
“Lia’s Vineyard 2014 – 92 pts – (25 percent new oak) Lurid red. Highly perfumed black raspberry, cherry cola and floral scents are complemented by hints of white pepper and cola, and a mineral element adds nerve and lift. Sappy, deeply concentrated but lively red fruit liqueur, mocha and floral pastille flavors are accented by a touch of allspice on the back half. Closes silky, sweet and very long, delivering impressive clarity and smooth tannins that fade slowly into the juicy fruit.”
“Sandra Adele 2014 – 92 pts – Lurid red. High-pitched aromas of ripe raspberry, cherry pit, Asian spices and fresh flowers develop a zesty mineral quality in the glass. Gently sweet, penetrating and focused on the palate, offering vibrant red berry and bitter cherry flavors that flesh out and put on weight with air. Smoke and spicecake notes appear on the clinging, smoke-tinged finish, which features even tannins and an echo of bitter cherry.”
Our AVA Series Wines: Lumiere, Nuages, and Dundee Hills also scored over 90 pts! Read Full Article
James Suckling’s 2014 Reviews
“Abbey Ridge Vineyard 2014 – 93 pts – Aromas of dried strawberries and toffee follow through to a medium to full body, fine and chewy tannins and a fresh and flavorful finish. Stylish and cool. Drink or hold.”
“Sandra Adele 2014 – 93 pts – Ripe strawberries with hints of spices and dried flowers on the nose. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a clean and racy finish. Very intense and focused. Drink or hold.”
“Lia’s Vineyard 2014 – 93 pts – Aromas of dried berries, chocolate, and walnut skin. Full body, tight tannins, and fresh acidity. This is a young wine that needs time to open but it’s already exciting. Better in 2019.” Read Full Article
Wine & Spirits Rates Our 2013 Dundee Hills Cuvee Pinot Noir #1 U.S.
“The pure red-fruited drive of Dundee Hills Pinot comes through in this fresh, generous 2013, lent complexity by some pipe-tobacco spiciness and dusty mineral flavor.” -Patrick J. Comiskey Read Full Article
Wine Enthusiast 2013 Tasting Notes & Ratings
“Lia’s Vineyard 2013 – 94 pts- This begins with compelling aromas of rose petals and breakfast tea. Those tea-like tannins underscore an elegant wine with subtle fruit flavors. A delicate dance partners the fresh cherry fruit, the baking spices and other barrel-influenced accents, soft but penetrating tannins and the lightly chalky minerality. Lovely already, it should continue to drink well through 2025.”
“Olenik Vineyard 2013 – 93 pts – Expressive and loaded with fruit, mineral and spice components, this powerful wine centers around dense flavors of black cherry and cassis. Threads of coffee, caramel, wet rock and citrus keep coming through, and the wine seems to gain strength as it goes. Just a hint of heat comes out in the tail end.”
“Sandra Adele 2013 – 92 pts – In a strong lineup of beautifully balanced Pinots, this cuvée shows just a touch more stem and leaf, and keeps the fruit on the tart end of the berry and cherry spectrum. The tannins remain a bit stiff and unyielding, but overall the punch and weight suggest that this is a wine bound for further development and improvement in bottle. Drink 2018–2025.”
“Lumiere Eola Amity Hills 2013 – 92 pts – Pretty cherry fruit, lightly candied, steals the show here. There’s a dash of cinnamon and a pleasantly toasty frame around the tannins, all in proportion and delivering clean, generous flavors through the lingering finish.”
“Dundee Hills Cuvee 2013 – 91 pts – This barrel selection evokes the AVA’s black-cherry fruit character nicely, keeping it lively and balanced, with excellent depth. Tasting the wine is like gazing into a deep pool; the flavors keep pushing further into the finish. Streaks of coffee and milk chocolate are in the mix, but it’s the excellent fruit that captures your attention and holds it.”
“Nuages Chehalem Mountains 2013 – 91 pts – The Nuages cuvée delicately includes lightly peppery herbal notes in the fruit-filled wine that leans toward blueberries and cherries. There is a streak of brown sugar, and the overall balance is exacting. Despite the relative youth, nothing seems awkward or out of place. Drink now through 2022.”
Chuck Hill Recommends Our 2013 Cuvée Lunatique Chardonnay
“There are some wines that just grab you, and they move to the top of the rankings. Look for white peach and green apple, dusty mineral and citrus on the finish – great with seafood or other lighter meals.” read article »
Wine Enthusiast Rates Our 2012 Lineup
“Lia’s Vineyard 2012 – 94 pts | Cellar Selection – This is introduced by scents of rose and cherry blossoms, with a hint of butterscotch. Once tasted it;s a lush, forward, sweetly appealing wine with the impressive fruit concentration of the 2012 vintage, underscored with a layer of mineral. It’s delicious already, but destined to improve. Drink some now, and put away some to tast between 2018 and 2025.
“Olenik Vineyard 2012 – 94 pts | Editor’s Choice – This single- vineyard selection shines, with nuanced layers of granite, lead pencil, pepper, and espresso around a core of dense black cherry and cassis. The power and concentration mark it as special. Still compact and lightly earthy, it’s blessed with perfectly ripe proportionate tannins, ensuring a good long life ahead.”
“Sandra Adele 2012 – 93 pts – Deep, dense black cherry signals immediately that this is pure, classic Dundee Hills fruit, much of it from Abbey Ridge. Average vine age is 20 years- giving it great penetration and complexity. At first tight and unyielding, it opens with scents of coffee and chocolate, and displays the thick minerality of all the winery’s 2012s. Nuanced herbs add a peppery kick to the finish.”
“Lumiere Eola-Amity Hills 2012 – 92 pts – Part of the winery’s Terroir Series, this is aromatic with bright raspberry fruit dotted with peppery herbs. It displays the spicy herbaceousness of this AVA, with excellent penetration and balance. A strong finish hits a resonant note of minerality.”
“Dundee Hills Cuvee 2012 – 92 pts – Sourced from several different Dundee Hills vineyards, this wraps its black cherry fruit in tart acidity, chalky minerals, and a hint of iron. Substantial, muscular and stiff out of the bottle, it will blossom with further bottle age. It’s already a sturdy, expressive, impressive wine with deep flavors of fruit, earth, and rock.”
“Nuages Chehalem Mountains 2012 – 91 pts | Cellar Selection – A tribute to a famous gypsy jazz tune, the name means “clouds” in French. It’s an elegant wine with ample acidity and sleek fruit flavors of raspberry and strawberry. A dusting of pumice coats the fruit, giving it grip and texture. The balance to age gracefully is immediately evident. Drink 2017-2025 for maximum enjoyment.”
“Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 – 91 pts | Editor’s Choice – To call it entry level does not do justice to the quality here – this would be reserve level at many wineries. A generous mix of blueberry and black cherry fruit rolls seamlessly through the fruit-driven core, annotated with barrel notes of cola, coffee and cream.”
“Croft Wineyard Uber Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – 92 pts | Editor’s Choice – This particular cuvee is fermented in a large acacia wood barrel with helps round out the fruits flavors without sacrificing focus or precision. It’s pleasantly grassy, with a strong pineapple flavor at the core. With excellent length, structure and mouthfeel, this wine could be cellared for another five or six years.”
Washington Post Rates Dundee Hills Cuvee 3 stars (out of 3!)
“This is another Oregon producer worth seeking out; order direct from the winery or look for it on fine-restaurant wine lists. The Dundee Hills are at the heart of the Willamette Valley, on volcanic soils that give the wines structure while maintaining finesse. Winemaker Jay Somers makes a Willamette Valley bottling that is more widely available and also delicious.”
Wine Spectator’s Matt Kramer Names Our Eola-Amity Hills “Lumière” 2012 a Top Wine of the Year
“The 2012 Pinot Noir called Lumière leaped out when I tasted it for its rich fruit allied with an unusual degree of flavor delineation and easily discerned mineral notes. I was surprised by its exquisiteness in a vintage that trades more in dramatic fruitiness.” read article »
Wine Spectator’s Matt Kramer Recommends J. Christopher
“So if you want to know whether you’re dealing with a really good wineshop…see if they’re offering some high-quality, small-production Oregon wine selling for less than the fancy dancers (try Westery, J. Christopher or Cowhorn, to name but three such star attractions).” read article »
Nittany Epicurean Reviews Our 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
“The wine showed a medium ruby color. Cherry, raspberry, loamy earth, oak and whiffs of eucalyptus and vanilla arrived on a compelling, earth-driven nose.” read article »
On the Way from Germany to Portland, Winemaker Jay Somers Stops in Northern Virginia
A feature story by wine writer Christian Schiller. read article »
Jamie Goode reports on a visit to J. Christopher winery. read article »
Feature about how winemaker Jay Somers blends wine with music. read article »
Video interview with winemaker Jay Somers. see video »
J. Christopher wines are available at your local retailer.
Or (in most US states) you can purchase them right from our online store.