Today’s stop across the other 46 states is Sawtooth Winery, located in Nampa, Idaho, in the Snake River Valley AVA. Idaho is that other state located in the Pacific Northwest, well suited for growing many different Vinifera varieties. With 38 wineries to date and counting, the industry is thriving more than ever. Typically known for their whites, Sawtooth is increasingly producing great red varieties, especially Merlot and Syrah.
Tonight we poured the 2007 Pinot Gris, alongside a spicy, Thai chicken dish with brown rice. The wine comes in a screwtop, and clocks in at 12.8% alcohol. Surprisingly, only 260 cases were produced, but was still available at Total Wine. A quick note from the winery about fermentation:
80% fermented in stainless fermentors to preserve the fruit flavors of Pinot Gris. 20% barrel fermented in oak cooperage and ages on the lees for 5 months, bringing rich mouth feel and intensity. We then blend the two wines to create a wine that has the nice fruit flavors of Pinot Gris but also richness and mouth feel.
On the nose, I picked up lemon, a hint of pear, and citrus notes. In the mouth, granny smith apples were dominant throughout. The wine was sweeter than I expected, but still maintained a clean, crisp mouthfeel. Paired alongside the Thai dish, it played nicely against the spice and proved to be a great match. All in all, a good wine, and a great example of Idaho’s potential.
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