I’m ready for spring. Apparently, Mother Nature is not. It has been cold and rainy for days – stopping only long enough to taunt us into thinking the weather might improve. As of April 11, it has already rained 1.82 inches for the month, when the average for the entire month of April is 2.59 inches. Today the sky dumped a lot more rain, but that isn’t calculated into the total until tomorrow.
So to celebrate spring, and our commitment to keep trying new wines that we haven’t tried before, I opened a bottle of the Melrose Vineyards 2010 Pinot Gris. I purchased it on our most recent trip to Costco for $14.99. Melrose is in Roseburg, Oregon, on the banks of the South Umpqua River. Melrose started growing grapes in 1996 for their first vintage in 1999; the winery was founded in 2000. By the photos on their website, I think I would love a visit, especially because the tasting room is located in a 100 year old barn on the property.
At first taste, this wine had more than a hint of floral and light butter flavors. Which was curious because this wine was aged in 100% Stainless Steel. However, after being open for a couple of hours, those flavors had largely departed to leave a crisp Pinot Gris with apple and pear flavors. After doing a little research, I discovered that Melrose aged 33% of the grapes Sur Lie for 4 months. The lees are the dead yeast that are created by the fermentation process – to age a wine Sur Lie means that the winemaker does not filter out the lees through a process known as racking. I think that yeasty flavor was what I was picking up at the beginning.
Overall, I enjoyed this wine quite a bit. With my busy week at work, I didn’t have much time at home in the evenings, so I actually had this wine for four days before Jon polished off the bottle. The wine held up very nicely until the end. My recommendation would be to let the bottle breathe for a while after opening, particularly if you like a crisper style of Pinot Gris. And if you try this wine, let me know what you think!