Ross Andrew Winery 2008 Celilo Vineyard pinot gris

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on February 1, 2010:

From the Hollywood Sports wire: “Federer defeats Bill Murray for lead spot in Caddyshack XVI”. From Lowell, MA: “Truck driver eats PED chili, flattens home”. From the New York papers: “Yankees call for spending limits after watching Team Obama”. Ok, no more reading the paper for awhile.

Celilo Vineyard, which recently celebrated its 32nd crush, covers 70+ acres in, perhaps, the most scenic of all the Washington AVAs, the two-state straddling Columbia Gorge. The late Dr. William McAndrew had the foresight to purchase the land on a southeast-facing slope off Underwood Mountain back in 1971 and he hand-planted his vineyard, which is still owned by the McAndrew family. Celilo sits in close proximity to the Cascades such that it is one of the few dry-farmed estates (receives 50 inches of rain/year) in central and eastern Washington. The climate is too cool to grow cabernet but ideal enough for the following grapes: chardonnay, gewurztraminer, lemberger, merlot, Muller-Thurgau, pinot gris, pinot noir, and viognier. The high-quality grapes coming out of Celilo is no secret, as wineries such as Woodward Canyon, Sineann, Ross Andrew, etc. choose to bottle single-vineyard wines from Celilo, the ultimate compliment for a vineyard. Achieved quality from such a weather-risky site is the result of continuity and harmony, as evidenced by vineyard manager Rick Ensminger, who has been with Celilo since 1976. I can personally vouch for said quality after having several wines made with grapes from this site.

Ross Mickel cites that the 2008 vintage was cooler than average and resulted in dropping 70% of the fruit from the 1975 block in order to “achieve full physiological ripeness.” The grapes reached 23.4 brix on October 17 and were whole-cluster pressed, cold-fermented and aged on the lees for 4 months in 100% stainless steel.

Color: very light straw. Nose: pear, honeydew, pink grapefruit. Mouthfeel: like fitness water. Tail trail: 3 seconds. Flavors: pear, green apple, warm spices, lemon zest.

Columbia Gorge AVA. Alcohol: 12.4%. pH 3.53. TA 0.92%. RS 0.3734%. Bottled May 13, 2009. 78 cases. Music pairing: Doanld Fagen’s “Snowbound“. Rated: 90. Value: $16. Paid: $16. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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