Tonight I’m drinking a varietal I’ve never tried before. Jon and I were down in Seattle a few months ago and stopped in one of the downtown wine shops. We were perusing the selection, and we decided to each select a reasonably priced wine that we had never tried before. This was my pick, for $15.99.
I opened the wine without looking up anything about it first – I wanted to try it without anything affecting my perception first. The nose is a light, toasty butter, and it is a nicely balanced mix of crisp minerality and butter. It reminded me a lot of a Pinot Blanc. After googling Auxerrois, I learned that it is a grape similar to Pinot Blanc (yay for my tastebuds!) and is also the grape used in French Chablis (I might have to buy some Chablis now).
Elemental Cellars is the side project winery of Steven Westby, winemaker for Witness Tree Vineyard. The grapes are sourced from Zenith Vineyard, which sells grapes to some of the best known Willamette Valley wineries, including Adelsheim, Ponzi, and St. Innocent. Apparently this block of Auxerrois is the oldest in Oregon. I haven’t tried Witness Tree Vineyards wine either, but after tasting this wine, I will have to make sure to try them too at some point soon.