Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An Oregon Pinot Gris

Pinot gris is called Pinot Grigio in Italy, and this is of questionable value to its reputation. I have to say that Eric Asimov's recent pinot grigio tasting notwithstanding, I just haven't found a Pinot Grigio that I would serve proudly to a fellow wine lover. A few years ago when I lived in Prospect Heights, my local wineshop carried a Pinot Gris from Elk Cove, an Oregon producer. I remember it as costing a little more than $15, and it was very tasty.

I have since found other Oregon producers whose wines I prefer, but I still have a taste for the Oregon style of Pinot Gris - richer in flavor, fuller in body and texture compared to Italian versions. I would be extremely curious to see the results of a blind tasting, if one should occur, of Oregon Pinot Gris. Actually, I bet that Cole Danehower in his popular Oregon wine newsletter Oregon Wine Report has done such a tasting, but I have not seen the results.

A year ago I ordered some Pinot Noir from Bergstrom Winery, and because I couldn't afford a half case, I filled it in with a couple of bottles of their 2004 Pinot Gris. I opened one last night with BrooklynLady's uttery delicious butternut squash soup. She made it with farmer's market squash, garlic, onion, and stock, a white potato, and she added fresh ginger and some crumbled and fried fennel sausage from A&S Porkstore. Turned out to be a good pairing, as the vibrant wine stood up and complimented the flavors of the soup.

2004 Bergstrom Pinot Gris, $18
Intense aromas of flowers and melon jump out of the bottle when first opened and poured. Initially almost over the top, but quickly settled down, and smells of honey and lemon come through too. A vibrant and lip-smacking feeling, with apple, lemon, and citrus flavors, rainwater, and some honey at the finish. Prominent acidity and a lingering finish. I don't have enough context to understand this particular wine in comparison to others, but it is a bright and flavorful wine that goes well with food. Makes me want to explore further.

1 comment:

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks once again for the great tip. I love the Elk Cove (just got a bottle on Saturday) so I'll keep my eyes peeled for this. One more Oregon Pinot Gris to try is Sineann's 2005 Pinot Gris if you can get it. Really yummy with a flavor profile very similar to the Bergstrom you describe here.