This month's wine tasting was unusual for many reasons. First, that two people brought the same exact wine; second, that every wine came from the same vintage; and third, that there were three guest tasters.
Overall, we were surprised at how much diversity these wines had, and decided that these were all good values and would pair with a wide range of foods.
First Place: Adelsheim Pinot Gris 2006 (Willamette Valley). Complex aromatics that include lemons, grass, oil, grapefruit, fresh herbs, and black cherries. Ali felt that it "smells effervescent". Full-bodied, with flavors of crushed berries, grenadine, and fresh herbs. Natalie noted "butter and baking soda", and felt it was "charming". Colleen was reminded of "Vera Wang". Long finish. Received 30 points. Aime's bottle. About $18.
Second Place: Adelsheim Pinot Gris 2006 (Willamette Valley). Looked unfiltered. Green grapes, raspberries, nectarines, golden raisins, mango, melon, empire apples, and honey on the nose. Tasters found flavors of oranges, honey, and sugarcane. Natalie decided that it was "wet, like if I was thirsty, I would drink it to quickly quench my thirst". Aime was reminded of "sesame oil", while Ali felt that it was "soft". Showed some tartness on the finish. Received 25 points. Kristin's bottle. About $18.
Third Place: Montinore Estate Pinot Gris 2006 (Willamette Valley). Golden hue. Tasters found scents of fresh laundry, berries, cream, acetone, nectarine, oil, caramel, butterscotch, and pine tar. Smooth, with a darker profile that featured slate and gravel notes. Aime found "shredded wheat", while Ali felt it was "like an A- student". Very balanced, even, and masculine. Received 17 points. Ali's bottle. About $15.
Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2006 (Wilamette Valley). Aromas similar to grapefruit, green apples, pee, grass, pinecones, fresh herbs, and tangerine. Colleen felt that it was "like soccer camp", clarifying that her comments were "a good thing". But Natalie described it as "like having your ass kicked by soccer dikes". Ali was reminded of "beets . . . from the can". Sweet, caramelized flavors that included pineapples, praline, roasted chestnuts, and buttered toast. Colleen felt that it was reminiscent of "Auntie Annie's pretzel". Received 6 points. David's bottle. About $16.
A to Z Pinot Gris 2006 (Oregon). Smelled more tart that the others, with apricots, grapefruit, chalk, and acetone. Flat, with flavors of stone fruits. Chemicals on the finish. David gave it faint praise, saying that it was "pleasant", but Colleen felt that it was "unnatural". No points. Colleen's bottle. About $15.
Foris Pinot Gris 2006 (Rogue Valley). Tasters struggled to find positive comments about this one, finding "dirty sponge" (Kristin), "a freezer that needs to be defrosted" (Natalie), and "dried out berry" (Ali). David decided that it was "odd". Hints of butter, feet, and gooseberry. On the palate, there was cedar, toast, pomegranate, and smoke flavors, along with a tart, unbalanced finish. David noted "something artificial", and Ali decided it was "too violent" for her. No points. Natalie's bottle. About $11.
R.L. Buller & Son Premium Fine Tokay (Victoria). Tasters really enjoyed this dessert wine, with Colleen saying that it was "a one-night stand" and "come on and let's do it". Aime said that "it puts it all out there". About $18/375ml.