Friday, August 21, 2009

2007 Willamette Valley Vinyards Pinot Gris


Around 14$12$ at Costco here in Los Angeles. Pinot Gris is the Oregon bastardization of Pinot Grigio--kind of like the whole Syrah/Shiraz thing. Whatever. This is a cool wine in a lot of ways; if even half the shit they say on the label is true, then the Vintners are some cool ass dudes. The corks are Rainforest Alliance Certified, friendly to salmon fisheries (and for what it's worth, they recommend drinking this with salmon), and sustainable.

The wine itself is pretty good. I certainly enjoyed it. On the nose, it's really floral, and has some citrus character to it--almost reminds me of those weird Alsatian white grape blends. There's also just the slightest hint of spice. Once this bad boy hits your mouth, there's a lot of citrus--not orange, I'm thinking more along the lines of lemon, but a really sweet lemon. Also some minerals--like the mineral taste that you get out of some tap water, and green apple. The wine is medium-weight, fresh, and has a good balance of acidity and richness. The finish is fairly long and citrusy--it definitely is lingering. A couple more things that I found out after I drank this wine--1. I guess that this isn't a "straight" Pinot Gris. It's also got some Muscat added for...drum roll...floral characteristics! So that explains the really floral nose. 2. Although almost all of this wine is fermented in stainless steel, there is 1% that is barrel fermented. Which is where that faint hint of spice was coming from. So here I was thinking that I was a little nuts for smelling all the flowers and that tiny bit of spice and it turns out that's what the winemaker intended. So this wine is basically an Italian Grape, that smells like something from Alsace, but it's really from Oregon? Yeah, I think that's about right. It's fun to drink. B+

3 comments:

CabFrancoPhile said...

I think you nailed it blindly pegging it as Alsatian in style. IIRC, Pinot Gris is the French equivalent of Pinot Grigio and Alsace is its "home." So the winery probably was aiming for an Alsatian style with the grape name and the blending.

Maybe they have this at my Costco, sounds like a nice white for the price. Of course, Costco wine selections are like snowflakes, no two are the same . . . .

maulmatt! said...

Pinot Gris is actually a mutation of Pinot Noir and is originally from Burgundy, although Alsace is definately it's adopted home now- along with Italy & Oregon.

Jeff said...

Matt--I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. I've got a lot of wine books kicking around, but sometimes I get a little lazy looking through them.

CabFrancoPhile--Yeah, all the Costco's are different for wine...but you know what you ought to do is find some of the higher dollar index buildings and look for wine there. If you're in Santa Barbara, I bet most of them are high dollar, but they are different depending on the surrounding community. As an example, by me, in Culver City (and further south in Torrance), they have a completely crazy selection of wine. Way more bottles, way more expensive/allocated bottles, etc. Those two stores have a wealthier demographic. But if you go to Hawthorne (which is closest to me), the selection isn't nearly as good, because it's closer to the more marginalized areas, and the index probably isn't as high. Anyways, look around. The other frustrating thing is that if they do have some cool stuff, they might not have it for long. And then they don't have much of a selection. But when I go in and see something interesting less than 20$, I'll generally pick it up.