J. Christopher 2015 'Basalte' Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

J. Christopher 2015 'Basalte' Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Item Number: 11601

UPC: 0-810404020524

Country: USA
Region: Oregon
Sub Region: Willamette Valley
Appellation/AVA: Chehalem Mountains
Vintage: 2015
Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 13.5
Soil Type: Volcanic
Case Production: 1,432

Vineyard Notes: Basalte Pinot Noir is a new bottling from J. Christopher that has replaced their Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. The fruit for Basalte is sourced only from the Chehalem Mountains AVA, which is a Willamette Valley subregion. The vineyards include Appassionata Vineyard (estate), the Medici Vineyard (farmed by J. Christopher), and Lia’s Vineyard. Each vineyard is sustainably dry farmed. The Pinot Noir clones are Pommard and Wadenswil, and the vines are between 6 and 21 years old.

2015 Vintage Notes: It was yet another warm growing season in Oregon, with an early budbreak and flowering. The hot, dry weather relented a bit in August, however, which kept the sugar levels in check during the final ripening period. The fruit at harvest was ripe, healthy and abundant. In spite of the warm year, the wines show surprising elegance and didn’t lose the distinctive character of each AVA’s terroir.

Terroir Notes: The Chehalem Mountains are geologically complex and diverse, formed over millennia by lava flows, wind-blown silt (loess), and uplifted sedimentary seabeds. The vineyards have extremely rocky volcanic basalt soils that lend themselves to full-bodied, firmly structured wines.

Vinification Notes: Grapes were 100% destemmed and fermented using native yeast. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. Wine matured for 20 months in barriques (25% new). The Basalte Pinot Noir was bottled without fining or filtration.

Tasting Notes: The Basalte Pinot Noir exudes a fruity aroma of crushed berries and has a stony structure that perfectly captures the character of the rocky basalt subsoil.


  • The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 91 (10/31/2018)

    Refined and well-knit, with black cherry and tart blueberry flavors accented by black tea and spice notes. Drink now through 2024.
  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 89 (8/31/2018)

    Pale to medium ruby in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Basalte gives up aromas of redcurrants and dried cranberries with notes of earth, oolong tea, wood smoke and cola. Light to medium-bodied, it offers lots of red and black berry character in the mouth with a great smoky/spicy vein, grainy tannins and a mouthwatering finish.