Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: *** $$ J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Gris, California, 2011

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for J Vineyards Pinot Gris.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Appelations can tell you quite a bit about a wine.  Generally speaking, the geographical designation on a wine represents the smallest area from which all the grapes of that wine have been harvested.  So an Oakville cabernet sauvignon comes from a smaller area than a Napa cab, and that from a smaller area than a California cab.  Often, when a wine region is widely described, you can find out little about the grapes used.  The wine we are sampling today is a different story.  Although labeled "California", J Vineyards and Winery is quite transparent about the sources of the pinot gris grapes which make up the wine.  I like that.  Let's see how the wine itself fares.  It was provided as a tasting sample from the winery's agent.

Original tasting and review : This is J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Gris, California, 2011, finished at 13.8% alcohol.  The grapes hail from Clarksburg, Monterey, Russian River Valley and Napa.

In the glass: J Pinot Gris is clear with a light vanilla tone.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows sweet, bright apple and honeysuckle.  From the aroma, seems like this will be quite bright, tart - perhaps mouth-puckering - and sweet in tone. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweet and acidic, but more gently-toned than anticipated.  There is a nice balance of crisp, fresh apple, with a deeper vein of something more like lightly-spiced applesauce with a citrus wash.  The finish squeezes with a touch of acid, but ends with hints of sweetness in an extremely clean flash.  Funny, there's a trailing hint of light cocoa too.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Consistent, lightly muted aromatics, with just a hint of funk.  A slightly deeper blend on the palate, easy and clean.  All in all, I preferred the crispness right upon opening the bottle. 

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for J Vineyards Pinot Gris.

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