There’s speculation that within a decade, production of Chardonnay in Oregon will eclipse that of Pinot Gris. That’s difficult to imagine if others follow the price point and style developed by Jim Bernau’s team at Willamette Valley Vineyards, which produces about 10 times as much Pinot Gris as Chardonnay. Oak-free aromas of apricot, white peach and Asian pear pick up a hint of tropical pineapple notes. Peach and pear flavors dominate the bright and balanced structure, where the droplet of residual sugar (0.6%) merely bevels the edges of the acidity and creates more length, where a rub of lavender is found in the finish. This earned a silver medal at the 2015 Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Awards, and suggested fare includes Grilled Halibut with Mango Salsa, Chicken Piccata or Saffron Rice with Honey and Raisins.
Production: 24,000 cases