The story of Jesus Guillen is truly remarkable, yet bittersweet. 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, Jesus started his own side project: Guillen Family Wines. Things were coming along quite nice for the new label, but tragically just before the 2018 harvest, Jesus was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Within a month of diagnosis, he passed. He leaves behind a wife, one son, a large extended family, and a legacy of kindness and self-made success.
His 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” Pinot Noir is Jesus’ “Reserve” bottling. This is a selection of the very best and most structured barrels of the vintage. The juice is aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak.
Robust, rich, black cherry core with baking spices, sandalwood, and a firm gripping mouthfeel.
The Oregon wine community will miss Jesus dearly. This is your chance to grab what has surely become a collector’s item.
93 pts – Pinot File