2016 Pinot Gris
In the Vineyard
Getting the fruit from all four source vineyards harvested quickly before a very warm, sunny vintage produced overripe fruit with elevated alcohols required a lot of long-range planning and last-minute logistical strategy. Thankfully we were aided by the diversity of microclimates and chemistry of our Pinot Gris sources, spread from north to south throughout the Willamette Valley. With this vintage we added a “new” vineyard to our line-up: the renowned Temperance Hill. The harvest chemistries from Northernmost Dion Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains, Bellevue Cross Vineyard in McMinnville, along with Temperance Hill in the Eola-Amity AVA and the Southernmost Rudolfo Vineyard all hit upon average 24.9 Brix, pH of 3.2, and TA around 5.6.
At the Winery
Wine grapes were whole-cluster pressed, and fresh juice was clarified with a light bentonite fining before racking to temperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks. A long, slow, 150-day fermentation allowed this vintage’s complex and layered aromatics from four Willamette Valley sources to marry. Two separate fermentation vessels allowed us to employ diverse commercial yeast strains–CY3079 and 58W-3. At the desired balance point of .4% residual sugar, TA of 5.4 g/L and a pH of 3.28, fermentation was arrested by cold stabilizing at 27ºF for two weeks. The wines were gently cross-flow filtered, and sterile-filtered at bottling in Late February with an intentional touch of dissolved CO2 (1200 ppM).
At the Table
Heady aromas of ripe pear, juicy cantaloupe, and a hint of pineapple are seasoned with honey and an intriguing touch of white pepper. Rich and plush at first sip, transitioning to a crisp and palate-cleansing acidity that wraps around sunny flavors of lemon and fresh grated ginger. This food-friendly approachable Gris is consistent with previous vintage styles, and offers some great exotic food pairing options from Thai Curry to Indian Chicken Tikka Masala.