The story of Jesus Guillen is truly remarkable. The son of a hardworking immigrant who came to Oregon and helped some of the earliest viticulture efforts in the region, Jesus originally studied Computer Systems Engineering in Mexico. However, a trip to Oregon won his heart and he chose to stay and help his Dad who was the Vineyard Manager at White Rose Estate.
After some time, Jesus continued his education with winemaking classes at the local Community College, eventually gathering up the courage to ask White Rose owner Greg Sanders if he would like some help in the cellar. Through hard work and perseverance, Jesus eventually became the Head Winemaker at White Rose in 2008. The following year, he crafted a wine that received the highest score and Oregon wine had ever gotten at the time: 96 points for the 2009 Estate Whole Cluster Pinot Noir.
Indeed, Whole Cluster has become a signature technique for Jesus, along with gentle fruit handling, pump-overs instead of punch-downs, and meticulous tannin management. The resultant wines are characterized by tremendous finesse, and the often-attempted but rarely-achieved dual nature of approachability in youth and agability in bottle.
After some time with White Rose, where he still acts as head winemaker to this day, Jesus started his own side project: Guillen Family Wines. I like to think of them as wines that take the finesse of White Rose and up the power ante a little which is pleasing to Jesus’ palate. These are wines of great depth and potency. Wines to stand up to red meat and hearty fare, or to simply sip on and wonder how all that flavor can be packed into such an unassuming little drink.
The “Adrian” is Jesus’ highest Reserve wine. His favorite barrels of the vintage which get a little extra time to mellow out in barrel and tend to bring the most complexity and structure of all his wines.