The aromatics of the wine are dominated by vibrant fruit and floral notes; applesauce, cinnamon, tangerine, honeysuckle and orange blossom. A dusting of vanilla and butterscotch is the contribution of the barrel-fermented portion of the wine. A full, layered body of flavors immediately followed by a long grape aftertaste marks the palate sensations. Flavors of honeydew melon, fresh apricots, white peaches, fresh green grapes, and spicy grapefruit intrigue the palate and finish with a hint of sweetness that was designed to balance the natural acidity of the wine. While we believe that this wine pairs well with many types of cuisine, we highly recommend slightly spicy Pacific-rim dishes as a perfect accompaniment to the J Pinot Gris.
J Vineyards & Winery
Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery is an independently owned Sonoma County winery. Located on Old Redwood Highway south of Healdsburg, the winery focuses on Brut and Brut Rose sparkling wines, as well as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris - terroir-driven varietal wines, produced from estate-grown grapes farmed primarily within Sonoma County's Russian River Valley appellation. In 1994, the first small lots of Pinot Noir varietal wines were produced at J, but sparkling wine continued to be the winery's focus. In 2006, J formally launched an estate varietal program based on its 254-acres of Russian River Valley vineyards. Today, under the direction of winemaker Melissa Stackhouse, J Vineyards & Winery produces several small-lot Pinot Noirs. The winery celebrates its 25th harvest in 2012.
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Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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.