Yamhill Pinot Blanc 2014
Pair with smoked cheeses, a nice poached halibut, or some oysters, after all, Pinot Blanc was meant to pair with oysters.
Yamhill Valley Vineyards is dedicated to producing distinctive wines from estate grown grapes in the emerging Oregon style reminiscent of the finest Burgundian and Alsatian wines. The heart of our winemaking is dedicated to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines. With the planting of Pinot Blanc in the spring of 1994 we look forward to being a "three-Pinot family." We are a young vineyard (our first vintage was 1983) and winery in a new winegrowing region, dedicated to the production of cool-climate varieties. While keenly aware of traditional methods used in the production of our wines we are committed to exploring new technologies, innovative techniques and modern practices. We are dogged in our pursuit of a character that is distinctively Oregon and distinctively Yamhill Valley. We are one of the first wineries in America to use synthetic closures and the first to use plastic corks exclusively. We are experimenting with Oregon oak in the barrel aging of our wines. Our goal is to produce the very finest wines that our site and skills allow.
Stretching southwest from the city of McMinnville, the AVA with the same name covers about 40,000 acres across 20 miles until it meets the Van Duzer Corridor. This corridor is the only break in the Coast Range whose gap allows the cool Pacific Ocean air to flow eastward into the Willamette Valley.
The Pacific's moderating winds hit McMinnville’s south and southeast facing slopes where cool-climate varieties—namely Pinot noir and Pinot blanc thrive on ridges at between 200 to 1,000 feet in elevation.
Soils here are primarily uplifted marine sedimentary loam and silt, with alluvial formations; McMinnville receives less rainfall than its neighbors to the east because it is situated in the rain shadow of the Coast Range.
Approachable, aromatic and pleasantly plush on the palate, Pinot blanc is a white grape variety born out of a mutation of pink-skinned Pinot gris (which was born out of a mutation of Pinot noir) and is perhaps most associated with the Alsace region of France. The variety is also is quite successful in Germany and Austria, where it is known as Weissburgunder. Although its heritage is Burgundian, today it is rarely found there and instead thrives throughout central Europe, especially in the mountainous Alto Adige region of Italy, where it is called Pinot bianco. Fine examples can also be found in Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Oregon’s Willamette Valley boasts some wonderful examples of Pinot blanc, as do some cooler pockets of California.
In the Glass
Pinot Blanc is typically a full-bodied wine and expresses pleasing aromas of crisp pear, peach, lemon zest, crushed gravel and white flowers. The finest examples can possess a stony minerality and with age can develop intriguing notes of honey, vanilla and almond.
Delicate Pinot Blanc works well with lighter fare such as salads, seafood, chicken or turkey, but is truly at its best with Alsatian pairings like choucrout garnie, onion tarts or the region’s soft cheeses like Munster.
Pinot Blanc’s delicate aromatics, full body, and moderate acidity make it a great alternative to the world’s most popular white wine. Anyone experiencing Chardonnay fatigue and looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot blanc a try.