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Rainstorm Pinot Gris 2011

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Umpqua Valley, Oregon
  • WE90
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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

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
Rainstorm
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.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production...

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character...

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

In the Glass

From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

NDF231315_2011 Item# 117592

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