Tuesday, April 23, 2013

White Wine Month: 2011 Plum Hill Estate Pinot Blanc

Cole (one of my best friends) is a man with refined taste.  He likes his Budweisers light, his tacos from establishments adorned with bells, and condiments from only the free-est of packets.  Ok, so maybe he doesn't always have the world's most refined tastes, but he has his moments.  Case in point; I have Cole and his wonderful wife Shannon to thank for introducing me to Plum Hill Vineyards in Gaston, OR.

It all started with a weekend trip to Forest Grove for some wine tasting and general relaxation.  Cole and Shannon are wine club members as Plum Hill and wanted to stop by to pick up a shipment, so of course I was down for another stop.  Cole is also kind of a bullshitter too, which was great because the owners of Plum Hill are hilariously receptive to that and dish it right back.  If any winery were similar to walking into an episode of "Cheers," this is the one.  It really feels like you're invited into their living room and they're going to make sure you're enjoying yourself.

A few pours down,  Keith and Trudy (owners) mention that they have a Pinot Blanc for wine club members only, but that they'll graciously pour one for me since they like Cole and Shannon so much.  Usually this works the other way around, but I wasn't about to say "no."  I really enjoyed it (as well as pretty much all of their whites) and kept it in mind until it was time to settle up.

In general, Plum Hill's vision is to make delicious wines that are almost exclusively below the $20 threshold.  A few of theirs go above that, but by and large every wine they produce is solid and absolutely priced below where it probably could be.  You can tell it is a labor of love, well, unless you're their grand daughter and are put to work slapping on wine labels.  For everybody else, though, love.  

Fast forwarded to settling up.

"I'll take a bottle of the French-oaked Pinot Gris if..."

"If?  If what?" Keith replies.

"If I can also get a bottle of that Pinot Blanc." (insert grin)

"Fine.  Honey!  Go outside in the freezing cold and grab this young man a bottle of Pinot Blanc from the cellar.  They're all on the top rack too."

And so she did.

Plum Hill's Pinot Blanc pours quite a bit lighter than Josh and I anticipated with an almost effervescent quality to it.  The nose is kind of a mix of minerals and tropical fruits such as pineapple and kiwi.  Upon tasting, much of the nose comes through exactly as anticipated.  This is a very subtle wine that brings with it the expected hues of a pinot blanc that would go wonderfully paired with a big chunk of pineapple on a hot summer day.  While you may not be able to get this exact pinot blanc going into the summer, it is definitely a reminder that pinot blancs are a wonderful choice if looking for a white to sip on.

A big thanks goes out to Cole, Shannon, Josh, and everybody at Plum Hill for making this post possible.  I highly recommend stopping by their tasting room and trying a few for yourself if you're wine tasting around Forest Grove.


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