Star Selection: 2006 Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions ($13)
The Milbrandt family has grown grapes in eastern Washington state since 1997. This year saw the first release of its own wines; among the new bottlings is this bright, citrusy Pinot Gris.
2006 A to Z Oregon ($13)
Since it was founded in 2002, A to Z Wineworks has become one of Oregon’s top names for affordable, high-quality varietal wines. Its focused Pinot Gris, full of citrus and kiwi accents, shows why.
2006 Bethel Heights Vineyard Oregon ($16)
Oregon producer Bethel Heights Vineyard is primarily known for top-flight Pinot Noir. But winemaker Terry Casteel also makes superb Pinot Gris: a light, graceful white wine with a creamy finish.
2007 Kim Crawford Marlborough ($17)
With its citrus-rind aromas and full-bodied green-apple flavors, Kim Crawford’s ’07 bottling is a good example of how well-suited New Zealand’s Marlborough region is to growing Pinot Gris. A small percentage of the wine is fermented in barrels for additional richness.
2006 Chehalem Willamette Valley ($19)
Chehalem winemaker Harry Peterson-Nedry makes his Oregon Pinot Gris “in a style as close to Alsace as possible,” he says. That is exemplified by the fine 2006 vintage, a full-bodied white with rich pear and peach fruit and a spicy finish.
2007 Pewsey Vale Vineyard Eden Valley ($20)
Australian producer Pewsey Vale is a leading source for terrific dry Rieslings. But its zesty, green apple–inflected Pinot Gris reveals that winemaker Louisa Rose is just as talented with other aromatic white varieties, too.
Classic Pairing for Grilled Chicken or Vegetables: Chardonnay