Bergstrom 2004 Pinots Stunningly Good
Balance, Intensity, Complexity
September 9, 2005
The 2004 Pinot gris and Pinot noirs from Bergstrom show that Josh Bergstrom's rapid rise to fame was no fluke. The wines continue to improve with each vintage, with the 2004 vintage wines uniformly enormously rich, concentrated, and complex, with flavors that show the grape and the vineyards' terroir at their best.
Bergstrom Pinot gris 04 $16.19/$17.99
is a rich, creamy wine reminiscent of Alsacian Tokays, with a scent of tropical white flowers, guava, mango, and passionfruit. The flavors are of creamy white fruit, pear dominating, with just a hint of buttery roasted hazelnut, and the racy acidity is well expressed as citrus zest, both lemon and grapefruit. The finish is defined by the lovely citrusy acidity, making the wine an exceptional choice for fish, chicken, or as an apertif. This would be a wonderful gift for someone who is really interested in what Oregon can do with the Pinot gris grape at its best.
The Bergstrom Pinot noir Willamette Valley 04 XX.XX/$24.45
The outstanding quality of this wine defies the price. Unfortunately only a small amount is available. Caroline Bergstrom told me that Josh saved back more of the Estate wine than they'd expected to for the Cumberland, because the grapes were so good. And wow- was she right.
This Willamette Valley Pinot, a blend of Wadenswil clone grapes from the Bergstrom Estate Vineyard and 113 clone grapes from Palmer Creek Vineyard, drinks like a lot more than a winery's basic "value" offering. The wine is quite dark and opaque in the glass. A perfume of vanilla, roasted meat, black cherries, a hint of barnyard, and dark violets combine in the nose to entice and delight. The flavors are of more sweet black cherries, plums, hints of blackberries, black raspberries, and just the tiniest hint of orange zest. It's a very fullbodied and meaty wine, with satisfying, silky tannins and plenty of well integrated acidity that adds zest and balance. It's a steal.
Now we're on to the really exciting Pinot from Bergstrom, the one that we anticipate taking the market by storm:
The Bergstrom Pinot noir Cumberland Reserve 04 $31.50/$34.95
This wine is, frankly, the wine I am craving. If the Willamette Valley 04 (above) is exceptional, it is a simple reflection of the quality of the Cumberland. It's going to be very hard to keep from opening bottles of this wine all the time. A glorious nose of vanilla spice, blueberry, blackberry, cherry, and intense hints of violets and roses is followed by flavors of blueberry, blackberry, plum, and sweet spices. A luxuriantly rich and velvety mouthfeel remains for a long, long finish, with perfect acidity incorporating a hint of citrus zest and tannins broad, yet voluptuous and pure. Memorable.
The winery has this to say about the wine: "Blending fruit from the Bergstrom Vineyard, de Lancellotti Vineyard, Shea Vineyard,
Broadley Vineyard, Bishop Creek Vineyard, Palmer Creek Vineyard, Vigna Giovanni
and of course the old vines from the Hyland Vineyard which year in and year out
give this wine it's terrific structure and cellaring potential."
"Aged in approximately 50% new french oak for 10 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered, the 2004 Cumberland Reserve is a tour de force highlighting the great natural acidity and ripe tannins of the vintage with a rich and almost decadent mouthful of classic pinot noir fruit flavors. This wine will benefit from 10+ years of careful cellaring."
As with many of the wineries in the North Willamette, Bergstrom's crop was quite small in 2004, and the wines are quite limited. We've only sent this email to our regular Pinot noir customers -- you've supported us with your orders, and we want you to have a chance to get some of these wines.
Several single vineyard Pinots from Bergstrom will be released over the next few months, and we'll email about them. For price/performance, though, we find the Cumberland Reserve tops our list of wines from Bergstrom year after year.
Hope you are all well, and our warmest good thoughts go out to our customers on the Gulf Coast. May you all be well.
Jean, Marcus, Chris, Kevin, and Wendy
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333
(working his tail off right now, with weather cooling down and all those cellared orders going out)