Thursday, April 5, 2012

2009 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris

Because Winter Beer Month was such a hit, it only made sense for us to do another month-long series. Every now and then, I take a peek at our analytics to see what you, our readers, actually enjoy on the site. To no surprise, most of you are interested in our wine coverage. It's what put us on the map and arguably what we do best. But what would we want to dedicate an entire month to? Easy, white wine!

Why white wine and why in April? Well, for one we rarely ever write about white wine. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the next big red that we often forget about its pigment-challeneged brethren. Additionally, at some point the weather will sooner or later not be so crappy. What do we usually reach for on warmer days to really hit the spot? White wine.

When I think white wine, the very first thing that pops into my head is Willamette Valley Vineyards' Pinot Gris. Year after year it is one of the best pinot gris out there and has a huge distribution. Willamette Valley Vineyards even holds a huge crab and chowder festival every year in what is clearly a front for selling more pinot gris. Long time readers will remember I even wrote a Greek-style epic about said event.

I've tried each annual vintage for the last few years and they are often consistent, but this will be my first time trying their 2009 varietal. You'll also notice from the above photo that the label looks a bit different. Willamette Valley Vineyards will produce custom labels for special occasions and this bottle represents nothing less than that. Josh, being the the best damn Managing Editor on this site, had these made to commemorate's launch last year. Let's get to drinking!

The initial aroma is everything one would expect from a Willamette Valley Pinot Gris. Plenty of crisp, green apple with a small hue of pear greet you as you raise the glass to your mouth. Your tastebuds won't be disappointed as those exact flavors hit your palette in that order, with just a bit of honeydew at the end. What begins initially as tart eventually dissipates into a pleasant, subdued version of buttery green apple. In a sense it first comes off as one dimensional, but that is quickly forgiven as it makes you fall in love with that dimension.

This Pinot Gris is wonderful by itself, but would also be great paired with cheese, chicken, white fish, crab, and even spicier Asian dishes. It's also not a very intimidating wine, so it should be enjoyed by a broad range of people and would be a great addition to any social function.

If you want to start stocking up for warmer weather or just want a solid pinot gris for your rack, you can't go wrong picking this one up. I also want to remind everybody how great some white wines can be. It's really easy to forget that when you're surrounded by incredible reds, but don't underestimate the whites.


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