For 20 years Cristom’s been making some remarkable Pinot Noir in Willamette Valley – all 20 with Pinot Noir guru winemaker Steve Doerner. These babies are all estate-owned and single-vineyard, so sadly they’re usually priced out of this site’s namesake. But on a recent visit to the 312 CEO Tom Gerrie (the “TOM” of “CHRIStine” & “TOM”, children of founders Paul & Eileen Gerrie) ran into us and poured up this gorgeous surprise of a Pinot – an astonishing Pinot Gris!
I’ve always experienced Pinot Gris (Italians call it Pinot Grigio) to be on the watery side – just not much there. No body, no aroma, no flavor, certainly no BUZZ! But – I always try it anyway – and this time, man was I glad I did!
This one’s from their “Emilia” vineyard, one of their eight vineyards named for different family members that surround the winery and hug the slope of a hill.
When I swirled the light golden sunshine that was in my glass, I swear luscious citrus, pear and melon jumped out at me and got all over me. Well it did – I was swirling and got carried away.
When I took a sip, the first thing I noticed was this wine’s texture – pure silk! Savory, creamy and silk-AY! Then comes the rich, succulent fruit – apples and pears with a slice of pumpkin pie. That subsides into a lingering baking spice finish and crisp, clean, refreshing acidity that was perfectly balanced.
You can drink this by itself on the deck all Summer long, or grill some shrimp to go along with it.