White Birch Pinot Gris 2015: $18 Very Good+

This wine provides a clear direction for the future of Finger Lakes Pinot Gris.

In general, most Finger Lakes Pinot Gris wines are unimpressive.  Some are excessively tutti-frutti, while many others are shapeless and lack focused flavors & character.  The best Finger Lakes Pinot Gris have been big, round and rich.  But these are few and far between, and they never seem to surpass the “very good” level.  The White Birch Vineyards Pinot Gris (Hobbit Hollow Farm, Finger Lakes, NY) 2015 $18 [Very Good+] is a breakthrough, the only wine from the Finger Lakes I have tasted that compares favorably to the best “new wave” Pinot Gris wines from Alsace.  Richly flavored but firm, food friendly, with an enlivening interplay of buttery fruit and citrus, this bottle is fine to sip or to serve with a variety of foods.

Medium straw yellow in color, the aromas feature scents of buttered apple, pineapple and tangerine with accents of honeysuckle, spice and stony mineral.  Medium bodied, very dry, with abundant acidity, the WB is tightly wound and very well balanced.  Flavors of buttered apples, pineapple, tangerine, spice, and a stony mineral note are rich but firm, with impressive focus.  The finish is firm, flavorful, with a light smack of the lips and very good length.

Note: Morten Halgren of Ravines Wine Cellars makes the White Birch wines.


© Douglas Hillstrom 2014