Wednesday, November 5, 2014

FEL Pinot Gris From Anderson Valley

A great white wine is a fantastic find.  The right mix of fruit and savory needs to be balanced with a level of acidity that makes the wine fresh and ready to pair with food.  The FEL Pinot Gris 2013 from Anderson Valley hits that bullseye.  Jarvis Communications provided this wine for the purpose of review.

Lede Family Wines is the umbrella under which three wine brands sit.  Cliff Lede Vineyards and Poetry, located in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, and FEL Wines, of Anderson Valley.  This property came about when Lede bought Breggo Cellars five years ago.  Just this year he changed the name to FEL as a tribute to his mother, Florence Elsie Lede.  It was mom’s home winemaking hobby that piqued Lede’s interest of wine in his youth.

Winemaker Ryan Hodgins sourced low-yield fruit from three vineyards for this Pinot Gris - Wiley Vineyard near the town of Navarro, and Filigreen and Donnelly Creek Vineyards, both located near the town of Boonville in Anderson Valley.

The grapes were whole cluster pressed into a steel tank for 24 hours, which lends herbal notes to the flavor profile. The wine combines lots that were fermented in a 900-gallon French oak oval, smaller, neutral French oak barrels, and stainless steel tanks.  Alcohol reaches up to 14.2% abv and it is bottled under a screw cap.

The golden tint is beautiful, while the wonderful savory note and acidity prompt my lunch companion to ask, “Do they serve oysters here?”   The acidity absolutely rips, and even when chilled the wine is as dry as a bone.  Beautiful pear, peach and nectarine flavors have a spicy edge which makes this an excellent food wine. It sure did set well with my green salad and jambon beurre sandwich.

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