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WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2008

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • W&S91
  • WS90
14.1% ABV
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of fresh pear, peach and apricot are followed by undertones of melon, green apple, lemon zest and orange blossom. The peach and pear notes carry through to the flavor profile complemented by tropical fruit tones of pineapple, papaya and kiwi. Rich and smooth in the mouth with a mouthwatering finish, the wine will be an excellent companion for a wide variety of foods including smoked salmon, grilled halibut or Ahi tuna with mango salsa, chicken and pork, blue cheeses, Asian fare, fish tacos or a vegetable curry. Enjoy now or cellar for 2 to 3 years. Serve moderately chilled.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Leesy and bright, this forward gris leads with aromas of ripe apple and peach, accented by a bit of nutmeg spice. It's flavors are bright and broad at once; the texture is mouthfilling and rich, yet the wine retains a fresh, focused line from lively acidity.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
This bright, juicy white offers flavors of pineapple and melon that persist into the finish, which is long and vivid. Drink now.
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WillaKenzie Estate

WillaKenzie Estate

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WillaKenzie Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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WillaKenzie Estate is located in Oregon's Willamette Valley on rolling hillsides in the Chehalem Mountains. The winery was named after the Willakenzie soil on which the vineyards are planted to convey the influence that the soil imparts on the wine's flavors and aromas. The vineyards are planted with grapes of the Pinot family, mostly new Dijon clones of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from Alsace. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are cool climate grapes, which are particularly well adapted to Oregon.

Willamette Valley

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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.

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.

EMP624345_2008 Item# 101607