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Chehalem Reserve Pinot Gris 2008

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WE90
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

Bright and rich, this wine has plenty of structure and ripe fruit, from white-yellow stone fruit to tropical, with warm baking spices and butterscotch hints thrown in. The emollient, lime-tinged mineral-oil texture again balances well with great acidity, seemingly a marker for the 2008 vintage. Bone dry and acid-driven, this wine needs time to open up, and will continue to lengthen, as a peach pit and pear skin finishing snap turns weighty and oily.

Critical Acclaim

WE 90
Wine Enthusiast

This is fermented in neutral barrels, so it is a rounder, more open style than Pinot Gris done in stainless steel. It is therefore more approachable at a young age, and also tastes leesy and creamy—a treat for the palate. The fruit is lean and fresh, and a bracing minerality infuses the finish.

WS 90
Wine Spectator

Lithe and focused, with pretty lemon, star fruit and delicate spice flavors that linger on the lively finish. This has intensity and refinement. Drink now. 702 cases made.

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Chehalem

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Chehalem, , Oregon
Chehalem
With two vineyards on either end of Chehalem Ridge and one in the Dundee Hills, Chehalem is dedicated to reflecting as purely as possible what the vineyard has produced. With minimal processing and without compromising great fruit, Chehalem wines promise good ageing but are very drinkable young. Production quantities of all Chehalem wines are limited, to assure ultimate winemaking control.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture...

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.