Helfrich Pinot Gris 2008 Front Label
Helfrich Pinot Gris 2008 Front Label

Helfrich Pinot Gris 2008

  • WS90
750ML / 12.5% ABV
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750ML / 12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Our Alsatian Pinot Gris is very true to its style and terroir. Starting rich and full, its mouthfeel is quite opulent and round. One can detect a slightly smoky flavor with a touch of grass. It has a pleasant and long finish.

Pair with foie gras, grilled pork tenderloin, mussels, crab.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Creamy and aromatic, with white pepper and hints of mineral mixing with the honeysuckle, yellow peach, quince and mango notes. Juicy acidity and a pleasant grapefruit peel note provide balance. Delicious. Drink now through 2015. 10,000 cases made.
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Helfrich

Helfrich

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Helfrich, France
Helfrich Winery Image

The Helfrich family has been in Alsace for six generations making wine and “Eaux de vie” (Plum white brandy, Cherry brandy or Kirsch schnapps)


In 1979, Joseph Helfrich founded Les Grands Chais de France which in the past 33 years has become the second largest wine company in France. Frederic Helfrich and his sister, Anne-Laure, representing the newest generation of the family are now at the helm of the international growth and future markets for LGCF.

The winery is in Marlenheim (named Arthur Metz) just Northwest of Strasbourg, the capital of the region.


The family line of “Noble” wines are made with fruit sourced from six vineyards in the heart of Alsace’s famed “Couronne d’Or” region near the city of Strasbourg. The Grand Cru line is crafted with grapes from the Steinklotz Vineyardin in Marlenheim located nothern Alsace on the Eastern side of the Vosges Mountains

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With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.

The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.

Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsace Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.

Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsace wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.

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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.

Sommelier Secrets

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.

NDF63358_2008 Item# 115013

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