Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

RayLen 2005 Pinot Grigio

RayLen Vineyards

2005 Pinot Grigio
(Yadkin Valley)

Founded in 1999 by Joe and Joyce Neely of Winston-Salem, RayLen Vineyards is a modern state-of-the-art winery in the southern part of North Carolina’s first AVA, Yadkin Valley. The hilltop winery is surrounded by 84 acres of vineyard planted in 1999 and 2000. Veteran North Carolina winemaker Steve Shepard came aboard for the winery’s first crush in 2000, with purchased grapes. RayLen currently produces 10,000 cases of a dozen varietals and blends from vinifera grapes, including Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Riesling. Blends include the reds Category 5 and Carolinius, and a white labeled Yadkin Gold.

Pinot Grigio is proving an excellent variety for North Carolina, as it is in other parts of the Southeast (Virginia, Georgia). RayLen has produced an attractive 2005 version. The wine has brisk citrus aroma and flavor with a just-right hint of grapefruit. Fresh and zesty on the palate, this Grigio makes a fine choice for summer seafoods; especially with shellfish because of its clean, minerally finish.

Reviewed September 18, 2006 by Barbara Ensrud.


Other Awards & Accolades

Bronze Medal - 2007 American Wine Society Wine Competition

Other reviewed wines from RayLen Vineyards


The Wine

Winery: RayLen Vineyards
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Pinot Grigio
Appellation: Yadkin Valley
Grapes: Pinot Gris / Grigio (95%), Viognier (5%)
Price: 750ml $12.49

Review Date: 9/18/2006

The Reviewer

Barbara Ensrud

Barbara Ensrud has been writing about and reviewing wines since 1979, with a nationally syndicated column for the New York Daily News and numerous other publications. Her “no numbers” approach to evaluating wine is simple: how does it taste – on its own, as well as with particular foods? Is it good value, whether $10 or $210? Does it measure up in terms of varietal character and regional identity? …"When I taste a good wine, I can't wait to share it with fellow wine lovers."