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Rainstorm Pinot Gris 2011

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Umpqua Valley, Oregon
  • WE90
12.5% ABV
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  • WE90
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3.3 6 Ratings
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3.3 6 Ratings
12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Oregon Pinot Gris shows lively mango and honeysuckle aromas, a lush mouthfeel and flavors of citrus and melon balanced by a refreshing acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This is the first release from Rainstorm, part of the expanding Mariani Family presence in the Pacific Northwest. It's bone dry, immaculately fresh, and leesaged, with lovely depth and finesse. Flavors of melon and cucumber dominate, and the crisp acidity offers bracing minerality. Best Buy.
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Rainstorm

Rainstorm

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Rainstorm, Oregon
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If diversity is the spice of life, then Oregon is an intriguing spice rack. There's much more to Rainstorm's home than snowy peaks, rugged coastlines, and foggy forests. There’s no better example of Oregon's diversity than the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys. Both regions produce spectacular Pinots. But the profound difference in weather patterns produces grapes that contribute to wildly divergent wine styles.

Rainstorm's Willamette Valley vineyard sits atop a fog-swept ridge, located east of Silverton. Their Umpqua Valley vineyard is located west of the city of Umpqua on a beautifully forested ridge. We like Pinot Noir from ridges, because the slope provides great water drainage capacity; this controls the vines' vigor and produces low yields. Low yields are ideal, as the vine is encouraged to focus its character in a smaller volume of grapes.

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Umpqua Valley

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Three substantial mountain ranges intersect to create a region of great diversity, not only in soil and topography but also climate and as a result, grape varieties.

Where the Klamath Mountains, Coast Range and Cascades converge, is the rather small AVA, the Umpqua Valley, which boasts over 150 soils in a total growing area of merely 1,500 acres. The soils range from sedimentary, metamorphic or volcanic where valley floors are deep alluvium and heavy clay and hillsides are typically silt or clay.

In the Umpqua Valley AVA, vineyards in the north are cooler and wetter; cool climate grapes such as Pinot noir, Pinot gris and Riesling do well. In the warmer and dryer south mainly Syrah and Tempranillo thrive. But growers here are not afraid to investigate new grape varieties; the region is home to over forty types.

There are two sub-AVAs within the boundaries of the Umpqua Valley: Red Hill-Douglas Country, established in 2004 and Elkton, established in 2013.

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Pinot Gris/Grigio

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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.

In the Glass

Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity but full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are aromatic (think rose and honey), richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to its Italian counterparts. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often much lighter, charming and fruit driven.

Perfect 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 lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Given the color of its berries and aromatic and characterful potential if cared for as it is allowed 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.

NDF231315_2011 Item# 117592