Monday, February 14, 2011

Adelsheim Vineyards Auxerrois (2006)

When I was planning our honeymoon, I wanted to stop at Adelsheim Vineyards because both Clare and I had tried Adelsheim's wines at Grapeseed American Bistro and Wine Bar.  The problem was that our guide had a very difficult time arranging the visit and, so, Adelsheim did not make the cut.  Still, we really like the wines and, one time when we were in Cleveland and having a glass of wine at Vinomatique, I saw a bottle of Adelsheim's Auxerrois (2006).  So, I bought it and took it home to open when I could pair the wine with a good meal. 

Adelsheim Vineyard is located in the northern part of Willamette Valley in Oregon.  Using sustainable farming practices, Adelsheim produces a range of Pinot Noir wines, as well as a Syrah. The vineyard also produces Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc wines.  But, it is the Auxerrois (pronounced "oak-sair-wah") that caught my attention.

The Auxerrois is actually a white grape grown in the Alsace region, as well as in Germany and Luxembourg.  The grape is actually a cross between a Pinot Noir grape and a Goulais Blanc grape.  Adelsheim grows its Auxerrois on three acres at its Ribbon Springs Vineyard.  When making the wine, the grapes are gently pressed, allowed to settle for one day and then pumped into stainless steel tanks.  Some of the wine is aged in barrels, which the winemaker says enhances the texture of the wine.  After a cool fermentation, the wine is "sur lies aged" (that is, aged with a portion of the spent yeast in contact with the wine) in the tank and then bottled. 

When poured, the wine pours a light gold.  The winemaker says that the wine "takes on aromas of pear and anise." I could also get a little lemon in the aroma as well.  The wine is very easy to drink, light and crisp, with flavors of green apple and pear.

Like many crisp white wines, such as Rieslings, the Auxerrois goes very well with spicy food and food with a lot of flavor, like curries.  The wine draws out the flavors of these foods.  I recently made Roasted Red Chili Seafood Stir Fry and thought that this wine would go well with the red chilis and sweet curry powder used in that dish.

To the extent the 2006 vintage is still around, it sells for about $22.00 a bottle.  More recent vintages are available at fine wine stores.


For more on the Auxerrois grape, check out Wikipedia.  For more about the wine, check out Adelsheim's website.

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