Scribner Bend Vineyards2005 Pinot Grigio
In 1893, George Washington Scribner discovered the rich, deep soils of the Sacramento River Delta. He settled and began farming here and the area would eventually become know as Scribner Bend. A full century, and six generations later, his descendants are still farming the same land, with just over 50 acres of vineyards. Recently, the Scribner family made the transition from growers to vintners, with the opening of Scribner Bend Vineyards. The farm’s original barn, built in 1918, has been renovated and transformed into a wine cellar, tasting room and event venue.
Upon first pouring, this wine is immediately varietal from appearance alone with its textbook copper-grey hues. However, on the nose, it surprises you with a pronounced minerality and smoky aromas of gunpowder and wet wool – and could pass as a ringer for Sauvignon Blanc grown on the chalky silex soils of Pouilly Fume.
On the palate, the wine returns to its varietal character with a broad soft acid texture, giving a style impression that suggests this wine might better carry the Pinot Gris moniker rather than Grigio, that is, it bears little resemblance to northern Italian Pinot Grigios with its decidedly earthy character and suppleness of body. The wine also finishes with an Alsatian lilt, showing spicy flavors of anise and a lingering bitter citrus pithiness that is typical of the variety. Adding to the impression of Gris-ness is a touch of warmth from the wine’s 13.8 percent alcohol.
A minimalist approach to winemaking is apparent in this wine’s unfiltered appearance. Don’t be alarmed by the presence of tartrate crystals, as this is a positive sign and evidence that this wine has not been subjected to excessive processing. In this price tier (just $9.95), Scribner Bend’s Pinot
Grigio Gris is a welcomed discovery for anyone who appreciates a wine that is not commercially polished to the extent of character anemia.
Reviewed March 23, 2007 by Adam Dial.
Brought up in a family with winery ventures in both California and Canada, Adam Dial seeks and appreciates diversity and individuality in wines. He is a Sommelier with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality and service industry, and is a respected wine educator, judge and industry advisor. In 2003 Adam Dial co-founded Appellation America.