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WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2012

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • RP90
14.3% ABV
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14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Shining honey and golden straw in color, this Pinot Gris houses tropical aromas with ripe melon, kiwi, white pear and white flower. The taste is crisp and refreshing with a sweet entry and a lush and velvety mouthfeel. Flavors of citurs and apricot accompany an acidic build-up and balance toward the warm and inviting finish. This wine will age for 3 to 5 years and is just as delicious and drinkable now.

We recommend pairing with spicy Thai food, smoked salmon, or Indian curry. More great options to pair with this wine are sushi, crab-avocado-mango salad, quiche and endives with blue cheese.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Lime and pink grapefruit flavors are etched with refreshing minerality, and the leesy, textural mouthfeel keeps this wine feeling light, despite alcohol over 14%. Drink now and over the next five years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Smooth and silky, blanketing the palate with almond-scented pear and nectarine fruit, lingering well. Drink now.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
WillaKenzie’s direct pressed and tank-raised 2012 Pinot Gris delivers a luscious amalgam or ripe peach and grapefruit tinged with sage and mint. There isn’t even a hint of heat, heaviness or harshness from this its 14.3% alcohol on the seamless and polished palate or in the energetic and invigoratingly zesty, spiced finish of this outstanding value, and I could imagine it remaining entirely convincing through 2015. Mandet points out that if you want to achieve this sort of balance, it’s important to leave enough bunches hanging on each vine and not remove their wings assiduously as you would those of Pinot Noir. Indeed, imagine simply for starters the alcohol you’d have if there had been significantly less crop!
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WillaKenzie Estate

WillaKenzie Estate

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WillaKenzie Estate, 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.

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Yamhill-Carlton District

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Yamhill-Carlton, characterized by pastoral, rolling hills composed of shallow, quick-draining, ancient marine soil, is ideal for Pinot noir and other cool-climate-loving varieties. It is in the rain shadow of the Coast Range to its west, whose highest point climbs to an altitude of 3,500 feet. Yamhill-Carlton is actually surrounded by mountains on three sides: Chehalem Mountains to the north, the Dundee Hills to the east and the western Coast Range to its west, which, when it lets Pacific air through, serves to cool the region.

Vineyards grow on the ridges surrounding the two small communities of Yamhill and Carlton and cover about 1,200 acres of this 60,000 acre region, which roughly makes a horse-shoe shape on a map.

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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.

MSW97309121_2012 Item# 129446