You may remember a few weeks ago I wrote about an industry tasting featuring Alsatian wines. If you don’t, you need only click here to read that post. Anyway, I have a strong interest in the grapes that make up a good bit of wines from that area; Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and last, but certainly not least, Pinot Gris. It’s that last grape that interested me more recently.
One fine day (that’s before the 90+ degree days we’ve been having in the last week), I came across a Pinot Gris from a winery I’ve known about for years; Chehalem. From what started in what is now known as the Ribbon Ridge AVA up there in Willamette Valley Oregon, they have extended their vineyards with the purchase of the Stoller and Corral Creek Vineyards, also Oregon. Now they make a nice selection of wines; everything from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (the mainstay for Oregon) as well as a selection of other whites, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, and Pinot Blanc, but this is about their
Chehalem Three Vineyard Pinot Gris 2016
To set the stage; it’s been 90 degrees for a couple of days and the forecast is for more of the same only hotter. I’m in no mood for a red and am not going to slave over a hot stove making Risotto again! I’m distinctly under-appreciated by the recipient of my efforts. Damn, that’s me!
So things have to be quick and with the least amount of time near the oven. Rice is good as it’s a put it in a covered saucepan and let it cook for 20 minutes kind of side. One down. Same with steamed broccoli. 6 or 7 minutes on top of the stove in a good ole steamer basket in a covered sauté pan and viola, two down. The entree is a little bit of a push as I decided on the Sockeye Salmon again. Hard to resist, on sale, high in Omega-3’s and it’s relatively fast and easy. Meal Complete.
I was really anxious to get to the wine. Haven’t had a Pinot Gris from Oregon in a while, but I knew that I would like it, and I did! A wisp of tropical fruits both on the nose and palate, with distinct pear flavors to go along with citrus and a dollop of honeyed/ginger notes. The crisp finish was a joy to behold.
Now, this wasn’t exactly the Alsace version of Pinot Gris, no, not as much minerality and without that slightly drier finish, but all the same, it was wonderful, especially considering the heat outside. It does see some neutral oak aging that I feel did give the wine a little more weight and mouthfeel. At right around $20 a bottle, I feel that it’s well worth the money, especially if you like a slightly more fruit-driven style of wine. For more technical notes, click here.