Bright, fruity, crisp style. Pretty aromas of fresh young pear, starfruit, grapefruit, honeydew and flower. Bold and crisp mouthfeel with generous flavors of pear, mineral, tangerine and spice, interwoven with well-balanced acidity. The Pinot Blanc, picked very ripe, adds emollient mouthfeel, and contributes to the Alsatian style. While the Muscat adds flowery sweetness, the barrel fermented portions of the Pinot Gris add a kiss of toast and richness.
"A Pinot Gris that goes the extra mile, with good definition of flavors, notably lots of spice and citrus rind. Edgy, tart and racy, yet also full-bodied, it shows good persistence and a sense of layers, not just length." 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Willamette Valley Vineyards
United in the dream of building a world class winery in Oregon, thousands of wine enthusiasts joined winegrower Jim Bernau to create Willamette Valley Vineyards, which is regarded as one of Oregon's top wineries. Since 1983, the winery has grown to produce some of the highest-rated Pinot Noirs in the U.S. Wine Enthusiast magazine has named Willamette Valley Vineyards one of "America's Great Pinot Noir Producers." Their wines have been served at the White House and are recommended by wine critic and author Andrea Immer, Food Network's Rachael Ray and Public Broadcasting's chefs Caprial and John Pence.
Willamette Valley Vineyards' goal is to make the highest quality Burgundian varietals possible from the Willamette Valley. Their approach is to grow, by hand, the highest quality fruit using careful canopy management, and achieve wines that are truly expressive of the varietal and the place where they are grown. Bernau's stylistic emphasis is on pure varietal fruit characters, with attention to depth and richness of mouth feel and balance.
The people of Willamette Valley Vineyards are deeply committed to being good stewards of the land using natural means to promote soil nutrition and vine health. Both the Estate and Tualatin vineyards are LIVE certified and designated "Salmon Safe" by the Pacific Rivers Council.
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Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley are are number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
The valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
Oregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
After reading the rating, my wife and I could not wait to try it. What we tasted was dry to the point of being bitter. On the plus sign, after we could not finish two glasses, it served as an adequate cooking wine.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.