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Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2009

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • RP89
  • WS89
  • WE88
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Winemaker Notes

The bouquet of this wine just explodes from the glass with aromas of apple blossoms, white peaches and wet stones. On the palate, layers of honeysuckle, nectarines and lemon oil coat the entirety of the mouth. The finish is long and pure with lingering flavors of red star grapefruit. This could very well be our best Pinot Gris to date!

Critical Acclaim

RP 89
The Wine Advocate

There's a generous feel to the apple, peach and almond flavors. The texture has a bit of a raw edge, but the finish shows snap. Drink now through 2012. 5,042 cases made.

WS 89
Wine Spectator

There's a generous feel to the apple, peach and almond flavors. The texture has a bit of a raw edge, but the finish shows snap. Drink now through 2012. 5,042 cases made.

WE 88
Wine Enthusiast

Benton-Lane makes quite a lot of Pinot Gris, stainless-steel fermented and whole cluster pressed, yielding a soft, fragrant, fruity wine with plenty of fresh pear flavor. It flattens out broadly across the palate, full-bodied and lightly spicy. Just a bit more focus would really elevate this wine to the top ranks.

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Benton Lane

Benton Lane

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Benton Lane, , Oregon
Benton Lane
Steve and Carol Girard have been owners of Benton-Lane since 1988. Carol and Steve shared a passionate desire to produce great Pinot Noir but decided their native California was probably not the best place in which to make it. Instead, they headed to Oregon where the cooler climate offered the possibility of producing Pinot Noir with better balance and structure.

After countless months of looking at possible properties, Carol and Steve discovered an old sheep ranch called "Sunnymount" in the southern Willamette Valley. It was immediately apparent Sunnymount held great potential as a vineyard site. The property is in the foothills of the costal mountain range on the west side of the valley with hillsides sloping east by southeast, a perfect orientation for planting Pinot Noir.

Sunnymount straddled the border between Benton and Lane counties with some of the land being in each, and so the name Benton-Lane was born. Carol and Steve purchased the property in 1988 and planting of Pinot Noir commenced in 1989. Benton-Lane’s first vintage was 1992 which was custom produced at another local winery. This process continued until 1997 when the Benton-Lane winery was constructed.

Benton-Lane produced Pinot Noir exclusively until 2003. In 2004, the winery began full-scale commercial production of Pinot Gris from grapes purchased from carefully selected Willamette Valley growers.

Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide. Well-drained limestone chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit, and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body, and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

STC828394_2009 Item# 105808

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