Pinot Gris – what is it? Simply put, Pinot Gris is the French name for Pinot Grigio. Enough said! In addition, this wine’s label indicates it comes from 100% Vinifera rootstock. Why is that important? Well, most grape vines grown in the U.S. and much of Europe for wine production are grafted onto rootstock from another species of grape (such as Vitis Riparia, Vitis Rupestris, and Vitis Berlandieri). These rootstock species are less susceptible to pests such as Phylloxera and thus help ensure successful harvests. In this case, however, Chateau Ste. Michelle has gone pure OG by using Vitis Vinifera rootstock.
Notes: The color of this Washington selection was extremely pale yellow. The bouquet had scents of citrus, pear and almond with light floral notes and a hint of spice. Acidity was good. Weight on the tongue was medium, and alcohol was at 13%. Flavors I found included bitter orange and pear with a faint note of cantaloupe. The finish brought grass and toast. I found it a fairly complex and interesting glass of wine. This is one I’d be happy to serve to guests at a cocktail party or with light hors d’ouvres.