Rainstorm Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2022

Pale straw color; lemon, nectarine, grapefruit, citrus, green apple, apricot, pear, peach blossoms, honeysuckle, pine, summer rain on a hot day on the nose and palate.

Rainstorm Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2022

Dry; excellent acidity; crisp texture; light-plus body. No discernible oak. Bright, clean finish with just a mummer of honey. Vines planted in 1992. The Rainstorm Estate Vineyard is in the heart of Willamette Valley in the breezy Van Duzer Corridor AVA. Grapes hand-harvested, then gently pressed and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel. Wine aged on the lees, with a portion in large oval casks without malolactic fermentation.

The estate vineyard is planted on volcanic and sedimentary deposits, which contribute to the unique terroir and a touch of minerality in the wine. Bryan Croft is the winemaker. Rainstorm also is noted for its pinot noir—indeed Oregon and the Van Duzer Corridor can claim to make the finest pinot noir in the U.S., although some in California would demurrer. Pinot gris is a mutation of pinot noir, so it is no surprise it would do well in the same terroir.

Pinot gris genetic roots reach back to France’s Burgundy region and southwest Germany. It is a lighter-skinned version of pinot noir, from which it mutated. Its fruit is grayish-blue in color. “Gris” is French for “gray.” The versatile grape can be made in various styles, but shines best as a crisp, light white—this effort. While it is virtually not grown in Burgundy today, it shines in Alsace. In northern Italy, it is known as pinot grigio. In Germany it is known as Grauburgunder. It grows in the New World, but the finest appear to be in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, home of this wine.

Rainstorm Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2022 is bright and fresh with good tartness, citrus. This is delightful wine with the tartness and acidity to pair well with lighter fare. Oregon is famed for its pinot noir and its pinot gris—pinot gris is a mutation of pinot noir—and this is delicious example of why. Pair with light fish; grilled chicken, pasta in light cream sauce, garden salad; pork; spicy food; cured meats; mushrooms. Cheese—goat’s milk cheeses, humboldt fog, chevre, mozzarella, feta, young cheddar. $16-18

Rainstorm on Pacific Rim & Co. website