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Rainstorm Pinot Gris 2011

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Umpqua Valley, Oregon
  • WE90
12.5% ABV
  • 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, Umpqua Valley, 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.

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.

Pinot Gris/Grigio

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One grape variety with two very distinct personas, Pinot Gris in France is rich, round, and aromatic, while Pinot Grigio in Italy is simple, crisp, and refreshing. In Italy, Pinot Grigio is grown in the mountainous regions of Trentino, Friuli, and Alto Adige in the northeast. In France it reaches its apex in Alsace. Pinots both “Gris” and “Grigio” are produced successfully in Oregon's Willamette Valley as well as parts of California, and are widely planted throughout central and eastern Europe.

In the Glass

Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity, so full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear, and almond skin. Alsatian styles are aromatic, richly textured and often relatively high in alcohol. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is much more subdued, light, simple, and easy to drink.

Perfect Pairings

Alsace is renowned for its potent food–pork, foie gras, and charcuterie. With its viscous nature, Pinot Gris fits in harmoniously with these heavy hitters. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works better with simple salads, a wide range of seafood, and subtle chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Outside of France and Italy, the decision by the producer whether to label as “Gris” or “Grigio” serves as a strong indicator as to the style of wine in the bottle—the former will typically be a richer, more serious rendition while the latter will be bright, fresh, and fun.

NDF231315_2011 Item# 117592