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Foris Pinot Blanc 1999

Pinot Blanc from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS85
0% ABV
  • WS87
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

All of the Pinot Blanc was estate grown on Three Creeks Ranch, one of our three vineyard sites located on the Siskiyou Mountain terrace in the cooler, western reach of Southern Oregons Rogue Valley. We prefer to pick all our Alsatian varieties extremely ripe, fermenting the juice warm (70 degrees) to help bring out the spice and body of the grape. With Pinot Blanc, we hope to pick the fruit after a significant degree of botrytis bunch rot has flourished, as we feel it escalates the quality of the wine produced from this rather neutral grape variety. Botrytis gives the wine its strong ""Alsatian"" character of honeyed richness, lifted nose, and silky, ""full-mouth"" feel. The wine was aged for five months, sur lie, with monthly stirring.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 85
Wine Spectator
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Foris

Foris Vineyards Winery

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Foris Vineyards Winery, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Foris is located in the coastal Siskiyou Mountains just six miles from the Oregon/California border. The diverse Rogue River Valley appellation comprises three distinct valleys with progressively warmer microclimates. Foris produces a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from its Klipsun Vineyard overlooking the Yakima River in Washington State.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by a Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant differences in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. The silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

Pinot Blanc

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Lightly aromatic, pleasantly soft, and always approachable, Pinot Blanc is best known in Alsace, where it is considered a workhorse variety that takes a backseat to the more complex Pinot Gris. A white mutation of Pinot Noir, it produces easy-drinking, enjoyable wines here. In Italy, as Pinot Bianco, it gets a little more complex, especially in the mountainous Alto Adige region. It is perhaps most successful as Weissburgunder in Germany and Austria, where the wines are subtle, delicate, surprisingly complex, and age-worthy. There is also some Pinot Blanc performing well in Oregon and cooler pockets of California.

In the Glass

Typically, Pinot Blanc has a relatively full body and expresses simple but pleasing aromas of crisp green apple, pear, citrus, and white flowers. The finest examples possess stony minerality and occasionally ripe stone fruit flavors, and with age can develop intriguing notes of honey, vanilla, and almond.

Perfect Pairings

Delicate Pinot Blanc works well with lighter fare such as salads, seafood, chicken, or turkey, but is truly at its best with Alsatian pairings like Hollandaise dishes, onion tarts, or the region’s notable soft cheeses such as Muenster.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Blanc’s delicate aromatics, full body, and moderate acidity make it a great alternative to the world’s most popular white wine. Anyone experiencing Chardonnay fatigue and looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot Blanc a try.

UCW5713_1999 Item# 17680