Pinot Gris, 2020. DRNK

Pinot Gris, 2020. DRNK

Item #: N0322W1
Vintage: 2020
Varietal: Pinot Gris
Vineyard/Appellation: Bennett Valley, Sonoma County, California
Color: Very Pale
Nose: Guava, Honeysuckle
Palate: Pear, Spice
Finish: Very Crisp
Rating: 98
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2023.Seafood, Shellfish/14% Alcohol by Volume

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The name is a little odd, but that's what we come expect at times in the wine biz. It stands for the first letters of the owners, Dale, Ryan, Nancy, and Katie. The family is anchored by Ryan's uncle, Keith Kunde, a member of the Kunde Family of Sonoma, whose reputation going back to the 1880's is unmatched.

Ryan is as much of a scientist as he is a winemaker. His vineyards are mapped and sectioned in areas called blocks. He has identified every aspect of each block to determine the best grapes to plant. One block was perfect for Pinot Gris.

This was obviously not an economic choice. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay would fetch twice the price of Pinot Gris, but Ryan was set on that grape and for good reason, it grows perfectly there. Pinot Gris in Italy it is called Pinot Grigio, where it mostly accounts for easy drinking light wines. In Alsace it is one of the most revered grapes of the area, accounting for wines of great depth and complexity as well as long age ability. That was Ryan's model and he has done a remarkable job.

The volcanic soils mixed with rocks and pebbles represent the perfect environment. The roots have to struggle to find water. In their search they contact essential minerals which they bring to the grapes. This arrangement is what accounts for the powerful aspects of the wine. Pear, guava, and roasted almonds are just the beginning. The scintillating swirl of flavors and extract invites a spicy shrimp pasta or lobster thermidor.

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