New Pairing to Try: Pinot Gris + Grilled Chicken or Vegetables
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.