Monday, May 27, 2013

2011 Eola Hills Pinot Gris, 2012 Rainstorm Pinot Gris

I spent a very somber, yet satisfying morning/afternoon with my son's Cub Scout pack at two Memorial Day ceremonies in Paola. This morning we assembled in a corner of the Paola cemetery reserved for veterans' graves; many dating back to the Civil War and simply marked U.S. Soldier. We were there with representatives of the local VFW chapter, a motorcycle honor guard and even a Civil War reenactor. After a prayer from the VFW chaplain, we listened to stories about local veterans, heard a reading of recently-deceased local veterans and then had a 21-gun salute and "taps" played on the bugle. In the afternoon, a similar ceremony was repeated  at the Veterans' Memorial in downtown Paola.

I wanted to grill or smoke something this evening for dinner and salmon steaks were on sale at the grocery store for $7.99/pound. So I picked 3 thick ones, rubbed them down with a lemon pepper seasoning and hot-smoked them over charcoal and maple chips. I mean, this just begs for Oregon Pinot Gris, right?  18 minutes later, the salmon was succulent and tender with just the right amount of smoke flavor.

While the salmon was smoking, I opened the 2011 Eola Hills Pinot Gris, Oregon. Features classic Pinot Gris color with that hint of brassy golden/orange hue. On the nose it's all about lemons and tart green apples. The tartness continues onto the palate with bright and vibrant green apple flavors and a long, tart finish. Slightly oxidized? A well-made wine, but just not what I was looking for. So I re-corked the rest of the bottle and stuck it in the fridge for another day. Retails for about $14 and not something I'm likely to buy again.

After relegating the Eola Hills to the fridge, I twisted the screw cap on a 2012 Rainstorm Pinot Gris, Oregon. This has a very clear, light golden color that could easily pass for a Sauvignon Blanc; no brassy highlights. Some fragrant pear and mineral notes on the nose, but the super dry, minerally palate is nearly devoid of fruit. The finish is commendably long, but once again, it's just pure mineral. I suppose this was an okay value for $10, but I don't see myself buying this one again, either.

I hate to call the evening's wines a disappointment as neither one was particularly bad. But neither one of them had that "it factor," either like some of my favorite inexpensive Pinot Gris that you can read about here (Wallace Brook, Cline, J Vineyards, Mohua, etc.).


  1. Bill, I'm not sure if two strikes is an out at your outing, but did you come-up with another wine for the salmon?
    I've got a wine to pair with that fish: Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Harvest Select Riesling, about $10.00!

    1. We persevered with the Rainstorm because I simply couldn't bring myself to open a third bottle. Maybe next time I'll go Washington Riesling. Thanks for the suggestion.