On our estate vineyards we farm three vines in the Pinot family: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and the more unusual Pinot Blanc. These varietals are so closely related that occasionally a winegrower will discover two types on the same vine.
How does this happen? Well Pinot Gris is a natural mutation of Pinot Noir that lacks pigment in one of its two outer layers. And then there’s Pinot Blanc, which is missing the skin pigment from both layers. This is how the three Pinot grapes can look so different while sharing almost 100% of their DNA.
So are they the same wine? Absolutely not. Skin pigment plays a huge role in Pinot Noir, adding color, complexity and tannin. Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are both made as white wines, but Pinot Blanc takes on mineral components in a unique way, making it a popular varietal in Alsatian sparkling wines. Blanc is often compared with Chardonnay, with an acid profile that can vary considerably, from “flabby” to “zippy”. Blanc is known for citrus, melon, apricot, and pear flavors sometimes with almost smoky undertones.
Not many wineries grow Pinot Blanc, but it is one of our favorite varietals to make and we hope you enjoy it too. Cheers!
Pinot Blanc at Harvest
Our 2015 Pinot Blanc has received a 90 point rating from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
“A quick impression of vitamin pill gives way to highlights of lemon oil and caramel apples. The flavors continue in a fruit-forward vein, with a mix of ripe peaches and cantaloupe. This is a wine to enjoy while in the first blush of its youth.” -Paul Gregutt
The review posted in the December, 2016 issue of the magazine and at winemag.com. According to Senior Tasting Director Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast blind tastes wines for review and rates their wines according to a 100 point scale:
- Classic 98-100: The pinnacle of quality.
- Superb 94-97: A great achievement.
- Excellent 90-93: Highly recommended.
- Very Good 87-89: Often good value; well recommended.
- Good 83-86: Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value.
- Acceptable 80-82: Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances.
- Wines receiving a rating below 80 are not reviewed.
Our 2014 Pinot Blanc received an excellent 91 points and was designated an “Editor’s Choice” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
“Harmonious and beautifully balanced, this brings intensity , depth and detail to its layered and ripe tree-fruit flavors. Added notes of lemon zest and a dollop of honey keep the interest level climbing. Editors’ Choice.” – Paul Gregutt
This review posted in the October, 2015 issue of the magazine.