2004 Bergstrom Wines Pinot Gris Willamette Valley

Bergstrom Wines Pinot Gris Willamette Valley In 1998, Josh Bergstrom was a young American winemaking student in Burgundy, wrapping up his two-year course of study at the Center for the Formation and Promotion of Agricultural Production in Beaune, where he'd met and just married his French wife, Caroline. In short, things were good.

The next summer, Josh and Caroline were in Oregon's Dundee Hills to plant the Bergstrom family's estate vineyards and to make the first vintage of wine for the fledgling Bergstrom Wines. The summer began dark, dank, and cold--suddenly, things weren't so good. Making matters worse, the vineyard Josh's father had contracted with wouldn't drop fruit for them, nor let Josh into the vineyard to do the work himself. Rather than start off with a dud, the Bergstroms decided to cut their losses, void the contract, and start over the following year.

Just like that, everything changed midway the summer: Josh and his father found a new, top-quality grower to source fruit from, and the weather improved. In fact, 1999 became one of Oregon's best seasons in recent history with an two-month Indian summer that extended the harvest into November. Bergstrom's first release, only 180 cases of Pinot Noir, turned out to be a huge success after all.

Josh BergstromHard as it is to believe, Josh's wines have gotten even better since. In 2000, he started making Chardonnay and Pinot Gris in addition to Pinot Noir, and Bergstrom Wines' production increased to nearly 1,000 cases.

Josh made 700 cases of the 2004 Pinot Gris, purchasing the fruit from three old-vine vineyards. Most of the grapes came from Wahle and Five Mountain vineyards, two south-facing vineyards with 30-year-old vines. Located between the coastal mountains and the Cascade range at 300-400 feet above sea level, these vines enjoy plenty of sunshine during the long, warm summer days and breezy, cool evenings.

The 2004 Pinot Gris has rich tropical fruit aromatics with the typical vanilla spice found from the Wahle Vineyard. Pears, cream, and hazelnuts with rich hints of lemon and grapefruit burst from the glass. The mouth feel is rich with a generous attack of tropical fruit flavors which is all reigned in by a great verve of acidity and structure which makes this wine big but not over the top--the perfect summer sipper and a great accompaniment for the aperitif hour, mixed salads, fish, and chicken or pork dishes, or even to serve as a dessert wine. Drink now-2012.