Bethel Heights Pinot Gris 2011
Aromas of Meyer lemons, mandarin, and lime blossom. The palate showcases a refreshing focused core of citrus fruits over bright acidity, carrying the wine to a long finish. This wine exhibits the grace and transparency of a cool year, hallmarks of a great vintage.
In a nutshell, 2011 was the latest vintage on record in the Willamette Valley. All of the principal phenological benchmarks were much later than normal: budbreak in early May, bloom at 50% on the 9th of July, veraison just beginning in early September. Harvest began on the 24th of October, the latest ever experienced at Bethel Heights, breaking the record set in 1991, when we started on October 19th. Underlying the lateness of everything were very cool temperatures, which had their grip on the Pacific Northwest through 2010 and 2011. Except for one hot spell in early September, temperatures rarely found their way into the '90s in 2011. But in the end, the long, relatively dry Fall and very extended hang time led to wines of great concentration and intensity with moderate alcohol.