Believe it or not, it's kind of rare to find such a delightful and clean Pinot Gris from California. That may sound strange but we mostly see Pinot Grigios that are either under or overdone with too much oak or not enough acidity. Though they are the same grape, good Pinot Gris typically comes from Oregon's Willamette Valley where it especially thrives. However, this example from Doug Stewart and his Lichen label is a welcome change. The flavors are citrus and tropical oriented with a great balance of bright, crisp acidity.
Here is how Doug describes the production, “Fermentation: We used a higher percentage of ripe fruit for the 2018 vintage compared to previous years, and a lower percentage of sparkling wine press fractions. While the Pinot Gris went through a 100% stainless fermentation, we also played with some neutral oak aging in the cellar... and we will do more of that in the future. The results speak for themselves.” Our 2018 Pinot Gris offers Lichen’s richest take yet on this dazzlingly aromatic varietal. Opulent and ripe fruit abounds, yet the wine remains jazzy and refreshing. Clocking in at 13.7% alcohol, it strays from our more restrained prior vintages, but it’s been a crowd pleaser in the tasting room and a new favorite among the staff.”