Pinot Gris, Rose' and white blends

Value Picks for June 2009

We were most gratified by the sheer number of responses to this month’s request for Pinot Gris, rosés and white blends. Splitting our tasting panel into two groups, we made first-round selections in each category, then came together into a single group to double-blind taste the finalists, from which the following recommendations emerged.


2007 RoxyAnn Rogue Valley Pinot Gris

$16.50 (3,382 cases)

Taste temptingly delicious throughout. Flavors of banana, spice and honeydew melon. Zingy acidity. Long, silky finish. In one simple yet descriptive word: Yummy.

2007 Methven Family Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

$19 (540 cases)

Fresh and clean with lively citrus acidity. Ripe pear and tropical fruit complemented by grapefruit and minerality. Layered flavor interest persists from start to finish.   

2008 Benton-Lane Pinot Oregon Pinot Gris

$18 (3,468 cases)

Seductively overlapping aromas of melon, green apple and lemon-lime lead into similar flavors. Tartness complements fruit to make for a beautifully balanced wine.

2008 Anne Amie Winter’s Hill Dundee Hills Pinot Gris

$25 (150 cases)

Peach and mango give the fruit profile a tropical lilt with aromas that roll out of the glass and a palate impression that’s rich without being cloying.

2007 King Estate Oregon Pinot Gris

$17 (85,000 cases)

Simply stated, a poster child for Pinot Gris. Appealing, floral aroma. Tropical fruit flavors. Bright acidity. Fresh, lively mouthfeel. Very well balanced.

2008 Hawkins Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

$17 (100 cases)

Fresh, tangy citrus and ripe melon harmoniously co-mingle in the nose and marry on the palate. A hint of sweetness adds charm. Appealing throughout. Finishes with a touch of piquant lime.

2007 Emerson Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

$15 (350 cases)

The nose knows. An expansive tropical fruit aroma introduces layered flavor dimensions of fruit and spice with hints of buttery vanilla in the finish.

2008 Sweet Cheeks Willamette Valley Estate Pinot Gris

$15 (2,570 cases)

A whole host of interesting things going on here in a very appealing way: pineapple, lime, celery, sweet pickle, all wrapped in a flinty minerality balanced by crisp, clean acidity.


2008 Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

$15 (1,160 cases)

Pretty pink color, forward floral aroma, touch of anise, light and fresh. An easy-drinking summer quaffer.

2007 Phelps Creek Columbia Gorge Celilo Rosé

$17 (338 cases)

A rose nose, as in the flower, carries through into the flavor. Nicely structured. Floral throughout. A classic example of the light, charming characteristics expected from a Rosé.

2008 Anne Amie Cuvée Midnight Saignée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

$15 (309 cases)

An expansive and expressive nose entices. Bright fruit and soft, creamy mouthfeel delivers. A long, lingering finish completes the pleasurable package.

2007 Cathedral Ridge Columbia Valley Rosé

$15 (225 cases)

Salmon-pink appearance. Freshly baked marionberry pie aroma. Rich, warm mouthfeel that tastes like it smells. Berry impression lingers along with a hint of honeysuckle. Unusual, to be sure. But enjoyable, nonetheless. A Riesling-Syrah blend.

2007 Viento Verona Allegre Vineyard Columbia Gorge White

$14 (138 cases)

Fresh mown hay and lemony citrus in the nose is Sauvignon-like with a banana backup. Clean, just off-dry. Very nicely balanced. The blend is 58 percent Pinot Gris, 24 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 18 percent Chardonnay.

2008 Anne Amie Cuvée Amrita Willamette Valley White

$16 (1,054 cases)

This may be a kitchen-sink blend of 19 percent Pinot Gris, 18 percent Müller-Thurgau, 17 Pinot Blanc, 17 Chardonnay, 15 Gewürztraminer and 14 Viognier, but it has an appealingly floral nose, fresh, bright acidity and flavors of melon, pineapple and stone fruit. Very nice overall.

The Oregon Wine Press tasting panel has selected these wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. To the best of our knowledge, they are currently available in the retail marketplace. But a call to the winery or your favorite wine merchant will best determine where they may be purchased. The above wines have met the following criteria: Produced by an Oregon winery; retail price below $30 per 750 ml bottle for Pinot Noir, or $25 for other varietals currently available to consumers. Wine evaluations were conducted using a single-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish. ◊

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