Sneak Peak: Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 Pinot Gris

Shortly after introducing myself on my very first post, I received an abundance of welcomes from people all over the Pacific Northwest. I thank all of you and am looking forward to meeting some of you on future wine journeys. Along with one welcoming came a very special surprise. Christine Collier (the new Social Marketer for Willamette Valley Vineyards) not only sent a warm welcome, but also a very special gift and a unique opportunity. Christine sent along two bottles of WVV's 2008 Pinot Gris; a wine that won't debut until their Wine Country Cruise on July 19th. For the first time in Oregon Wine Blog history, I present you a world premier review. Joining me on this tasting and giving his thoughts will be our very own Josh Gana.

After a cooler than average growing season, WVV' claims that "as this vintage ages in bottle [they] expect it to be the best vintage of the decade." Also noteworthy is because the crop yields were "historically sparse," production of this vintage is much lower than usual. In short, WVV is very proud of this year's vintage and I hope to share the excitement.

Josh: Kind of tart/appley nose. A little bit of grapefruit also. A nice, very light color. Nice translucent color. Again very crisp off the bat and finishes with a very strong green apple taste, but doesn't linger. Great wine for a summer day out on the deck chilled. Also would be amazing with seafood; white fish, crab, or of course, salmon. Can't wait to try it at next year's Mo's Crab and Chowder festival.

Rick: I completely agree with Josh in regards to the smell and its opaqueness. I also taste the green apple and am almost bombarded with it at first, but the entire experience quickly shifts to more sour citrus hues. Probably my biggest aversions to white wines are those that either linger on the palate too long or those that take one flavor and hammer your taste buds with it to the extent you get bored. This pinot gris does neither and is incredibly refreshing.

While Willamette Valley Vineyards is known for their Pinot Noir, they also consistently hit a homerun with the Pinot Gris -- and this vintage is no exception. The 2007 vintage rated 90 and a Best Buy with Wine Enthusiast, and we'd expect the 2008 to meet or exceed that standard. At the $15 - 20 range, this is a must to have sitting on your rack. Here at The Oregon Wine Blog, we've been in love with this gris (and the vineyard) for a number of can read reviews of both the 2007 and 2006 vintages on the blog. If you are in the Salem area on the 19th, stop by the winery and grab a bottle!

Thanks again to Christine for such a generous gift. Here's to hoping this review is only the first in a series of world-premier reviews from The Oregon Wine Blog.


noble pig said...

Love the world premier lucky for you. I'm intrigued with the wine country cruise...what's that?!

Rick said...

Info on WVV's Wine Country Cruise-in can be found here:

Here's a little excerpt from the site:
"Join classic car enthusiasts and wine lovers for a summer day at our vineyard with fine wine, hot cars, BBQ, and oldies music from J.T. and the Tourists. Come taste our newly released 2008 Pinot Gris."

Looks like a ton of fun, but sadly I can't make it this time.