It was almost a perfect day today, a little on the cool side but with a light sweatshirt it was just perfect for sitting on the patio in the sunshine enjoying spring. Just off the patio is a lilac bush nearing full bloom. With a light breeze coming from behind the bush the scent of the lilacs kept floating lightly across the patio perfuming the air. Add in a nice wine to sip and the entire day was worth whatever price of admission was being charged.
The wine for the day was a litter mate, so to speak, of a wine consumed a few days ago. This time it was a 2007 Chehalem Pinto Gris from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The previously consumed Riesling was outstanding and this wine was nearly as good. The nose was all grapefruit and other citrus but the taste added in a little ripe melon to round things out. The weight was medium, with almost a light viscous feel to it. Throw in some excellent acid, a low 13% alcohol and just a hint of sweetness at the end and it was the perfect patio wine for the day. There was some Icelandic cheese, some bread, some ripe strawberries for munching and everything just went together for a wonderful day.
According to the back label "Chehalem" is a native American word for Valley of the Flowers, so with a sip of wine and a scent of lilacs the wine more than lived up to its heritage. I was familiar with Chehalem Pinot Noirs but this Pinot Gris and the Riesling were my first experience with the winery's white wines. It won't be my last experience as I ordered three more bottles of the Riesling.