11 Shades of Gris

From racy acidity to a softer side

Pinot Gris, the second most planted grape in Oregon, is often released almost immediately after bottling. Although the variety is appreciated for its fresh, fruity, youthful drinkability, the April 2015 Value Picks tasting revealed that in some instances those very traits that make it so enjoyable early need a little time in bottle to fully develop. Though the evolution of a light, bright white may take only a few months, the change can be significant.

Anindor Vineyards 2013 Elkton Pinot Gris 

The tart tanginess of lemon zest and juicy lusciousness of sweet lychee fruit play on the palate of this light

ArborBrook 2013 Guadalupe Dundee Hills Pinot Gris   

Viscosity lends an Alsatian style to a round, mouth-filling wine exhibiting enticing elements of minerality and spice accented by ripe tropical fruit flavors. $25; 361 cases

David Hill 2013 Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

Bright, lively acidity lends structure to sweet apple and tart lemon flavors, reminiscent of the Pippin profile. An easy-drinking middleweight. $20; 376 cases

Maryhill Winery 2013 Columbia Valley Pinot Gris

Clean, fresh, citrusy aromas introduce spicy notes of macaroon-like coconut and almond balanced by tangy citrus. Finishes lively and long. $12; 5130 cases

Melrose Vineyards 2013 Umpqua Valley Pinot Gris

A marriage of citrus and tropical fruits brings immediate appeal to the palate while fragrant floral notes and grassy accents add interest and culminate in a rich, peachy aftertaste. $16; 600 cases

Soléna Estate 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

Fresh and lively up front with a distinctive minerality and hint of Frangelico-like almond. Honey and apple highlight the mid-mouth. Extremely well balanced throughout. $20; 5,000 cases

The Pines 1852 2013 Columbia Gorge Pinot Gris

Brimming over with tart, tangy apple and ripe, juicy pear, this wine’s full flavor impression flows flamboyantly from start to finish. $18; 400 cases

Winter’s Hill 2013 Estate Dundee Hills Pinot Gris

Light and bright upfront, delicate, floral aromas lead to an appealing melange of mango, banana and apple that intermingle with pleasing piquancy on the palate. $17; 600 cases

Wy’East 2013 Columbia Gorge Pinot Gris

A fragrantly floral nose immediately attracts the taster’s interest and rewards with a beautifully balanced duet of tropical fruit and fresh, lively acidity. $19; 650 cases

Capitello 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

Tart apple basted with butter makes for a round, rich mid-mouth. Add a touch of vanillin to these flavors and enjoy the lengthy taste experience. $18; 600 cases

Owen Roe 2014 Crawford-Beck Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Gris

Come Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana could apply here. Freshly peeled, popped in the mouth along with tropical fruit and essence of Juicy Fruit gum, the whole is fresh, bright and still evolving toward its final flavor statement. $21; 377 cases


The Oregon Wine Press tasting panel has selected the following wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. To the best of our knowledge, they are currently available in the marketplace. Wine must be: 1) produced by an Oregon winery; 2) priced (retail) $30 or less for reds, $30 or less for Chardonnay, $30 or less for dessert and sparkling wines, and $25 or less for remaining varietals; and 3) currently available to consumers. Recommended wines were selected using a double-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish.

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