Four Graces Pinot Gris 2019
Beautiful bright aromas of tropical fruit, fresh lime and honeysuckle flower mingle in the glass with a hint of struck flint. The palate continues with fresh lemon and lime zest followed by a touch of quince and wet stone, which leads into a vibrant lingering acidity.
Pair with pan seared tilapia in a silky lemon and herb butter sauce, or alone as an aperitif.
Named for the four daughters of the founders, The Four Graces are sustainably farmed, well-tended vineyards with the goal of producing rich, elegant, delicious, and complex wines.
The Black family purchased an existing vineyard in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley in 2003 as a family retreat. They immediately began turning the estate into a sustainably farmed, well-tended vineyard with the goal of producing rich, elegant, delicious and complex wines.
That same year, The Four Graces was founded. The winery is named in honor of the Black’s four daughters.
In 2005 the Black’s purchased the Doe Ridge property in Yamhill-Carlton to continue the growth of the brand. They chose a site in a differing appellation to add complexity and variety.
This vineyard has been turned into one of the largest experiments of its kind with forty acres farmed sustainably through the L.I.V.E (low impact viticulture and enology) program.
Today,The Four Graces is owned by Bill Foley and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc renowned nationally and internationally for their balance, elegance, complexity, and richness. The wines are crafted under the guidance of Marc Myer’s who has been in the industry since 2008 and believes both the Dundee and Yamhill-Carlton estates are stunning at first glance and he can’t wait to work with the fruit that comes off of these properties.
One of Pinot Noir's most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a continental climate moderated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture and the production of elegant wines.
Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation vineyard sites.
The valley's three prominent soil types (volcanic, sedimentary and silty, loess) make it unique and create significant differences in wine styles among its 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. In the most southern stretch of the Willamette, the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA soils are mixed, shallow and well-drained. The Hills' close proximity to the Van Duzer Corridor (which became its own appellation as of 2019) also creates grapes with great concentration and firm acidity, leading to wines that perfectly express both power and grace.
Though Pinot noir enjoys the limelight here, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay also thrive in the Willamette. Increasing curiosity has risen recently in the potential of others like Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc and Gamay.
Showing a unique rosy, purplish hue upon full ripeness, this “white” variety is actually born out of a mutation of Pinot Noir. The grape boasts two versions of its name, as well as two generally distinct styles. In Italy, Pinot Grigio achieves most success in the mountainous regions of Trentino and Alto Adige as well as in the neighboring Friuli—all in Italy’s northeast. France's Alsace and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce some of the world's most well-regarded Pinot Gris wine. California produces both styles with success.
Where Does Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio Come From?
Pinot Gris is originally from France, and it is technically not a variety but a clone of Pinot Noir. In Italy it’s called Pinot Grigio (Italian for gray), and it is widely planted in northern and NE Italy. Pinot Gris is also grown around the globe, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand. No matter where it’s made or what it’s called, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio produces many exciting styles.
Tasting Notes for Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is a dry, white wine naturally low in acidity. Pinot Grigio wines showcase signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are refreshing, expressive, aromatic (think rose and honey), smooth, full-bodied and richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to their Italian counterpart. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often light and charming. The focus here is usually to produce a crisp, refreshing, lighter style of wine. While there are regional differences of Pinot Grigio, the typical profile includes lemon, lime and subtle minerality.
Pinot Grigio Food Pairings
The viscosity of a typical Alsatian Pinot Gris allows it to fit in harmoniously with the region's rich foods like pork, charcuterie and foie gras. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.
Given the pinkish color of its berries and aromatic potential if cared for to fully ripen, the Pinot Grigio variety is actually one that is commonly used to make "orange wines." An orange wine is a white wine made in the red wine method, i.e. with fermentation on its skins. This process leads to a wine with more ephemeral aromas, complexity on the palate and a pleasant, light orange hue.