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July 07, 2009

07 Arcane Cellars, Willamette Valley Pinot Gris Reserve

Fitting that I'd drink this after Eyrie, who planted the country's first pinot gris. Funny how so little has changed. Maybe, I'll admit, this isn't a varietal much suited to change, but the plush sweet tart candy profile is starting to wear thin. In every way Arcane's wine is doing nothing wrong. And while I'll usually commend some Basque whites and albarino for that trait alone, Alsace and Italy have proven that pinot gris shows itself on a wide spectrum of flavors fat to lean. Spritey, summery, and just the slightest bit milky (or maybe egg white-y), it's the perfect profile for lemon meringue. And if you try hard enough, lime zest and something I can only describe as smoked loose leaf paper comes through. It's great fruit. And I guess that's the surprise. No stoniness--OK here it comes: no terroir. It doesn't have to have that. I'd gladly guzzle this wine. But then what exactly are we "reserve"-ing this for, and what really have we done with this grape for all these years?

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