Tag Archives: Pinot

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris Impulse

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris, Columbia Gorge, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, it’s a nice sunny day today and I’m in the mood for a refreshing white wine. You don’t see me featuring many Washington State Pinot Gris, but when I find a good one I commit to it. I think the only two we’ve offered on Impulse have been the Nine Hats Pinot Gris and the Ross Andrew Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris, and it’s even been a while since we’ve worked with either of those.

Personally, I’ve been a fan of Ross Andrew Mickel’s wines for a decade now. He used to be the assistant winemaker at Betz Family Winery, back in the early 2000’s, and is an all around great guy. When I was working at Matthews Cellars in 2006/2007, Ross would occasionally come by to borrow a piece of equipment. We were among the few in Woodinville with top of the line winemaking gear back then, so many smaller wineries would come to our facility to use our stuff. Because of this, I had several good opportunities to chat with Ross, even work with him a bit in the cellar. I always found him to be very knowledgeable and passionate about wine.

Ross Andrew Winery 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris $18.99 (Regularly $24)

Sitting at an elevation of 1,370 feet in the cooler climate of the Columbia Gorge region of Washington State, Celilo Vineyard is well suited for the production of refreshing and crisp white wines. Ross Andrew has been doing a bang-up job with Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris for several years now, truly expressing its sense of place. It comes from old vines, some older than 43 years, and they make certain to hand-harvest amidst the cool of the morning, so as to keep the newly picked grapes as fresh as possible.

Ross Andrew ages the Celilo Pinot Gris in stainless steel vessels for 4 months, with no oak, so as to maintain the bright and vibrant nature of the grape. During that time, the wine is kept on its lees, so as add a supplementary layer of complexity. It’s an invigorating wine, with just a hint of sweetness in the middle, and a clean dry finish. Starting with clean and pretty fruits of anjou pear, Tuscan melon, white peach, lemon zest and tangerine peel, it moves towards hints of hazelnut, kiwi, and freshly plucked jasmine. The palate has a little bit of residual sugar, which makes for a beautifully viscous wine, and everything is very nicely balanced. An excellent companion to light seafood dishes such as prawns, ceviche, and oysters.

Click here to order the Ross Andrew Celilo Pinot Gris

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Region: Columbia Gorge

Vineyard(s): Celilo Vineyard

Grape(s): Pinot Gris

Aging: 4 Months on Less in Stainless Steel

Drinkability: Now through 2018

Body: Medium

Alcohol: 13.8% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Nine Hats Pinot Gris, Alsatian Pinot Gris

Food Pairing: Prawns, Ceviche, Oysters

Production: 950 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Maison Roy Petite Incline Pinot Noir

Beaux Freres Impulse

Maison Roy 2014 “Petite Incline” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR

Fellow wine lovers, you may have picked up on the fact that I’ve found myself extremely bored with Oregon Pinot Noir for the past several years. There are still some great ones out there, but for the most part, I’m finding much of them to be boring and overpriced. One Willamette Valley Pinot Noir which has kept my interest throughout time is Beaux Freres. While their flagship wine may run for $95 per bottle, I do think it’s worth the dollar. As luck would have it, the families which founded and still own and run Beaux Freres have launched a completely new project, Mason Roy. It’s one of the better Oregon Pinot Noirs I’ve had recently, and it’s very affordable.

Back in 1991 Mike Etzel and Robert Roy came together to found the now famous Beaux Freres. Fast forward to 2012 and their Sons Jared Etzel and Marc Roy have started their owner winery, Maison Roy, after spending years working under their fathers and learning their craft. I’m a born skeptic, and I’ve seen other second generation wineries pop up with less than impressive wines, so I was pleasantly surprised with how much I’m enjoying the Maison Roy.

Maison Roy 2014 Petite Incline Pinot Noir

Maison Roy 2014 Petite Incline Pinot Noir

Maison Roy 2014 “Petite Incline” Pinot Noir $34.99

I’ve consistently found Beaux Freres to be among the biggest, most dense, and most complex Pinot Noir out there, and the Maison Roy follows in those same footsteps. It stands on it’s own, without trying to be a clone of Beaux Freres, but you can definitely see that Jared Etzel and Marc Roy are their fathers’ sons in terms of their wine philosophies. It’s not quite as complex as a $95 bottle of Beaux Freres, but it’s beautiful and among the most complex Oregon Pinot Noir in the $35 range.

It’s not as “Petite” as the name might suggest, though they do offer a higher end bottle simply named “Incline”. The Petite Incline is unfined and unfiltered, which gives a bit of extra texture and slightly cloudy appearance. It’s 100% Pinot Noir grapes, sourced from a handful of great  vineyards around the Willamette Valley. The nose is packed with lush fruits, spicy herbs, and hints of forest floor, while the palate is medium-full bodied, for a Pinot Noir. There are flavors of preserved black cherries, dehydrated strawberries, hints of pepper and tobacco. It’s shows a mineral essences with notes of plums and raspberries. Overall, a very pleasant and lovely Pinot Noir.

We were able to get our hands on just 15 bottles to feature on Impulse, and they’re first come first serve

Vineyards: Gran Moraine, Terry, Merriman, La Collina, Stoller, Kelly
Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir
Drinkability: Now through 2021
Body: Medium-Full for Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Beaux Freres, Cameron
Food Pairing: Salmon, Pork Tenderloin, Lamb
Availability: 15 bottles

Cheers

Yashar