08 O'Reilly's, Columbia Valley Pinot Gris
It's time like these that you can't depend on me. Because I'm going to tell you this is, so far, David's best pinot gris. But that doesn't really mean much of anything. Not without knowing the 2008 vintage on the ground, which I've just barely researched and hardly tasted in Columbia Valley. So I don't have that. But I do have taste memory. A virtual record, if that'll pass, of the past several bottlings. And this is among the least flavorful. But I guess that's my point. That when the Pacific Northwest really shines, it shows off its terroir. Yeah, that's a French word. And what I mean is that it stops worrying about oak. Or vintner alchemy. And instead says here's our wine. There's a recession. I've got a meeting with my financial advisor. In the meantime, I fixed myself a drink. And, like a still mix of St. Germaine and prosecco, out comes the new puppy dog pinot gris. With the floral, slightly steely aromatics of a lowend Rhone roussane and the chalky, peachy, babyfat palate of Chablis and Bordeaux blanc, it's a story of contrasts. Much like the harmonious "field blends" of this general region, the 08 gris is at once dynamic and dull. Not in flavor, but in character, a carbon copy of most French muscadet. And, in that vein, even vinho verde. Yes, shitty vinho verde. By which I mean a compliment. Like all not truly great but immensely pleasurable wine, it's meant to be had in multitude. At absolutely any time. Without being watery. Or too acidic. Or alcoholic. But instead being a 3-contrast filter on a picture of the spring. You enjoy this. You don't think of Alsace or, for godsake, California. I, but you, don't think of Rhone. You think of what it might be like to quit your job. To jump in that car like you said you would and drive. Drive to the coast. Lose the iPhone and put on the tapes. Watch the sunrise, sunset, and sunrise again--all in the same day.