Gabriele Rausse 2010 Albemarle County Vin Gris de Pinot Noir

Virginia is NOT known for its Pinot Noir.  The grape grows well enough in this climate but it grows in what viticulturalists call a tight fist.  This arrangement of the fruit’s berries creates a hotbed for powdery mildew as well as a high potential for uneven ripening.

If you have a Pinot Noir vineyard,, one might think the grapes would end up in a sparkling wine (as is Champagne style featuring under ripe Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) or as its own varietal with full red color from maceration on the skins.

This wine turns the convention on its head making a white wine out of what many call a black grape.

A lovely straw, almost honey, color in the glass, the nose of this wine is reminiscent of many sparklers with a distinctive yeasty, bakery undercurrent.  The attack is more rounded than anticipated with hints of tropical notes.

On the midpalate the yeasty notes return along with a plethora of melons from honey dew to cantaloupe.  The vanilla noted finish lingers briefly with hints of chestnuts and caramel.

This wine would pair exceedingly well with most seafood as well as chicken dishes.  This wine tastes quite good now and will not increase dramatically in flavor profile with additional aging.

DRINK NOW – FALL  2013

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About virginiawineclub

Chairman Virginia Wine Club Tasting Panel Editor, Virginia Wine Journal
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