Northwest White Wines Tasting Notes Page
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Tasting Notes Digest
White Wine Page
Updated 09/09/2016

Reviews of Pacific Northwest Wines

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Red Wines
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White Wines
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Chardonnay
Fumé Blanc/Sauvignon Blanc
Gewürztraminer
Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris
Riesling
Semillon
Viognier

Other Whites and White Blends


Dessert Wine & Port                                   Sparkling Wine


 

Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris


Elk Cove Vineyards
2015 Pinot Blanc
Willamette Valley AVA
$19.00

Winemaker Adam Campbell whole-cluster pressed his pristine Pinot Blanc fruit, and cold fermented the wine in small stainless steel tanks.  Aromas of tropical fruits, grapefruit and elegant floral notes lead to crisp citrus flavors on the palate and a lingering finish of wet stone and tangy stone fruits. 

Locati Cellars
2014 Pinot Grigio
Walla Walla Valley AVA
$18.00

Locati Cellars winery is located in Milton Freewater, Oregon, the southern portion of the Walla Walla Valley AVA, but their tasting room is open in downtown Walla Walla at 6 West Rose Street.  The Italian heritage of the family inspires the varietal selections including this Pinot Grigio crafted from grapes grown at the Breezy Slopes Vineyard.  Fragrant aromas of pear and vanilla lead to a crisp palate of citrus, kiwi, apple and zesty mineral. 

A to Z Wineworks
2014 Pinot Gris
Oregon
$14.00

A to Z Wineworks offers the slogan: “Consistently well-made wines that represent the essence of Oregon.™”  Indeed, the wines are well made and are among the best values in Northwest wine.  Fruit is chosen from a variety of Oregon appellations and then vinted and blended to provide good sipping and superb accompaniment to foods.  The 2014 Pinot Gris offers aromas of spicy pear and apple with floral notes leading to a crisp palate of pear drop, mineral and hints of citrus. 

Waterbrook Winery
2014 Pinot Gris
Columbia Valley AVA
$12.00

Sourced from The Benches Vineyard and Canyon Vineyard Ranch, Waterbrook Pinot Gris offers exceptional food-pairing opportunities for lighter fare of Italian persuasion.  Aromatics include crisp pear and green apple with notes of mineral and melon.  The palate adds citrus notes and a lovely clean finish. 

Oak Knoll Winery
2013 Pinot Gris
Willamette Valley AVA
$14.00

Oak Knoll Winery was one of Oregon’s first, crafting award-winning Pinot Noir in the state’s earliest days of viticulture.  Decades of production centered on Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and other wines from berries and labrusca hybrids like Niagara.  The 2013 Pinot Gris offers aromas of pear and tropical fruits with following flavors of ripe Asian pear and dusty mineral. 

Milbrandt Vineyards
2014 Pinot Gris
Columbia Valley AVA
$13.00

Brothers Butch and Jerry Milbrandt founded Milbrandt Vineyards in 1997 and have been among the most successful growers of wine grapes in the Pacific Northwest.  Check out Butch’s gourmet cooking videos on their website: MilbrandtVineyards.com.  The 2014 Pinot Gris is the perfect balance of refreshing pear fruit, chalky mineral notes and a bright, clean acid finish. 

Willamette Valley Vineyards
2014 Pinot Gris
Oregon
$16.00

As you sip this refreshing and complex Oregon Pinot Gris, you can contemplate Jim Bernau’s next project now taking shape in Walla Walla.  Pambrun Vineyard is named after Pierre Pambrun who led the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post in Walla Walla in the early 19th century.  Walla Walla winemaker Jon Meuret has been hired as consulting winemaker for the new venture.  WVV Pinot Gris offers aromas and flavors of tropical citrus, pear and orchard blossom with crisp acidity to accompany your favorite light fare. 

Adelsheim Vineyard
2014 Pinot Blanc
Willamette Valley AVA
$25.00

This wine, crafted from grapes grown at Bryan Creek Vineyard offers mineral and citrus with racy acidity. Chef Ted says, “Splendid with both oysters and mussels.  Tightly constructed to stay the meal without tiring.” 

Chehalem
2014 Pinot Blanc, Stoller Vineyard
Dundee Hills AVA
$24.00

This riper style of Pinot Blanc differs from the typical Oregon profile.  Aromas of caramel cream and earthy mineral lead to a palate with citrus flavors and hints of baking spice.  A touch of residual sugar creates a rich mouthfeel, better with mussels than oysters, and better still with fettuccine alfredo with chicken. 

Brooks Winery
2014 Pinot Blanc
Willamette Valley AVA
$18.00

Before we talk about the wine, take time to stop at Brooks Winery’s new tasting room perched high up on the hilltop on Eola Hills Road.  This is the site of the old Hidden Springs Winery from the 1970s – a great visit.  The winery categorizes this wine as a “cross between an Albariño and an Alsatian Pinot Blanc.” Look for crisp citrus and mineral with a slight residual sugar that suggests pairing with mussels rather than oysters. 

Adelsheim Vineyard
2014 Auxerrois
Willamette Valley AVA
$25.00

If you happen to like Auxerrois (pronounced oak-sair-wah), you better get some and enjoy it now.  This obscure – but tasty and oyster friendly – variety is a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais blanc, and is gradually disappearing from major vineyard sites in Europe.  It is a subtle wine with a difficult name – a bad combination.  On the plus side, it offers delicate mineral flavors with notes of citrus and racy acidity that dance with the flavors of delicate oysters – kumamotos are a sublime pairing.  [Editor's note: Gray Monk winery in British Columbia brought Pinot Auxerrois vines to BC from Alsace in the 1970s and several BC wineries continue to grow it today.]

Riesling

Woodward Canyon
 2014 Dry Riesling
Columbia Valley AVA
$25.00

I believe there are two types of people in the wine world – those who enjoy half-shell oysters with Riesling and those who don’t.  Rick Small’s rich and complex Dry Riesling offers stone fruits, mineral, and hints of citrus and occasional whiffs of Riesling petrol.  One of the reasons we taste all wines with both oysters and mussels is to give wines like this a chance at immortality – achievable with mussels, not with raw oysters. 

Brooks Winery
2013 Dry Riesling, Estate
Willamette Valley AVA
$24.00

I recently had an extravagant sushi lunch with Chef Ted as he put us in the hands of our favorite sushi master at HaNa Restaurant on Broadway in Seattle.  We enjoyed some fancy, tasty and expensive sake with a wonderful variety of sushi, but I wish I had been able to enjoy this wine with the experience.  Raw oysters are something different.  Serve this complex Riesling – tart apple, mineral, jasmine, herbs, kiwi – with steamed mussels (or sushi) for a delightful food and wine experience. 

Three Rivers Winery
2014 Riesling
Columbia Valley AVA
$15.00

Winemaker Holly Turner crafts this refreshing Riesling from grapes grown at Bacchus Vineyard north of Pasco, Washington.  Cool fermentation preserved fruitiness, and 2.3% residual sugar balances the crisp acidity of the wine.  Look for aromas and flavors of peach, nectarine, orchard blossom and baking spice.

 

Dessert Wine & Port

 

 

Sparkling Wines

(No recent reviews.  Learn about sparking wines in the Pacific Northwest) 

 

Other Whites and Blends

Pacific Rim
2013 Chenin Blanc
Yakima Valley AVA
$15.00

Grapes for this wine came from the venerable Hahn Hill Vineyard, planted in 1968, making it one of the oldest vineyards in Washington State.  Fermentation and aging take place in stainless steel to preserve the freshness of the Chenin Blanc fruit.  Look for aromas and flavors of key lime, white peach, floral perfume and melon.

Waitsburg Cellars
2014 Chenieres, The Aromatics
Yakima Valley AVA
$18.00

Wine writer Paul Gregutt created his Waitsburg Cellars brand utilizing fruit from some of the oldest vineyard sites in Washington to craft unique and flavorful food wines.  Grapes from Upland and Roza Hills Vineyards were used for this seafood-friendly Chenin Blanc (100%) offering a light pear and vanilla nose, with rich flavors of herbs and spice and crisp acidity.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars
2014 Albariño, “Affinity”
Yakima Valley AVA
$24.00

Grapes for this wine come from Crawford Vineyard in the Yakima Valley where the owners Charlie and Connie Crawford produce superb fruit.  Plush tropical flavors of pineapple, lemon and melon are complemented by notes of grapefruit and lemongrass.  Winery owners Jarrod and Ali Boyle have just finished adding Tiny Houses to their “glamping” venue at Destiny Ridge Vineyard, see www.ancglamping.com for details.  Also, check your local listing for the Monday, August 3rd HGTV airing of the Tiny Houses story including the winery's new glamping facilities. 

Abacela
2014 Albariño, Estate
Umpqua Valley AVA
$21.00

Abacela proprietors Earl and Hilda Jones in Southern Oregon are dedicated to the production of Spanish varieties and this grape does very well in their Umpqua Valley region.  Aromas and flavors of pear and apple mingle with notes of citrus and honey – tasty with both oysters and mussels. 

Palencia Winery
2014 Albariño
Ancient Lakes AVA
$18.00

Victor Palencia has been interested in Washington wine almost his entire life.  At age 13, he followed his father and older brothers into the vineyards where they worked.  His sense for terroir and passion for winemaking comes from these humble beginnings.  His 2014 Albariño offers soft and floral aromas with citrus and mineral peeking through, and the palate shows pear and peach with crisp acidity on the finish. 

Domaine Pouillon
2013 Savoir Faire
Yakima Valley AVA
$26.50

Domaine Pouillon winemaker Alexis Pouillon was a home winemaker during college then worked as an apprentice at Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf where his dream of becoming a vigneron was born.  He and his wife Juliet craft this Rhone blend of Grenache Blanc, Picpoul and Marsanne from grapes grown at Boushey Vineyard.  The complex austerity of the blend is a perfect match for oysters and mussels with flavors of Asian pear, mineral, beeswax, ginger and tropical fruits. 

Doyenne
2014 Roussanne
Red Mountain AVA
$37.00

DeLille Cellars Executive Winemaker Chris Upchurch has been immersed in wine for his entire adult life and has reached the pinnacle of creating many award-winning wines.  Recently, he released his own label, Upchurch Vineyard.  Chris and winemaker Jason Gorski crafted this complex and assertive Roussanne from grapes grown on Red Mountain.  Round aromas of pear, orchard blossom and stone fruits meet juicy flavors of lime, mineral, apricot and sweet herbs to complement mussels and full-flavored oysters. 

Savage Grace Winery
2014 Grüner Veltliner
Columbia Gorge AVA
$20.00

Grüner Veltliner is a grape that came to this country from Austria where it is a very popular white variety, especially as a food wine.  Michael Savage crafted his Grüner Veltliner from grapes grown at Underwood Mountain Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge.  A delicate nose of pear and wet stone leads to flavors of citrus, honey and spicy mineral with a crisp acid finish. 

Chehalem Winery
2014 Grüner Veltliner
Ribbon Ridge AVA
$24.00

Chehalem Winery’s historic Ridgecrest Vineyard was the source for this wine, which was partly barrel fermented in neutral oak.  The aroma is light and features notes of lemon, dried herbs and white pepper. On the palate, one finds complex flavors of mineral, stone fruits and anise – a good match for oysters or mussels. 

Reustle Vineyards
2013 Grüner Veltliner
Umpqua Valley AVA
$24.00

With their first vintage of Grüner Veltliner in 2005, Reustle – Prayer Rock Vineyards became the first winery in the U.S. to produce this varietal.  Stephen Reustle had discovered the variety in 2001 while touring the Austrian Alps on motorcycle.  His Grüner vineyard was planted in 2003.  Look for aromas and flavors of fresh herb tea, rose petal, pear and honeysuckle.  The finish is crisp with notes of citrus, white pepper and anise. 

Patterson Cellars
2013 Melange Blanc
Columbia Valley AVA
$23.00

John Patterson continues to craft superb food-wine blends at his Woodinville winery. This wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Marsanne and Roussanne and shows nice aromas of lemon, apple and dusty mineral with notes of floral perfume and caramel.  The palate is crisp with citrus and stone fruits – pairs nicely with mussels.

 

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Copyright © 2000 - September, 2016 Susan R. O'Hara.    All rights reserved.
Last revised:   09/09/2016