December 06, 2009

Unusual Oregon white wine: auxerrois

There's not a lot of the auxerrois grape grown in Oregon. At a holiday party this evening, I had a taste of the newly released 2008 Adelsheim Auxerrois from the Ribbon Springs Vineyard on Ribbon Ridge. What a delicious and interesting wine. I think Oregon whites are underrated, and this is another great example of that.

What the heck is auxerrois? It's pronounced ohk-sair-wah and it's common to the Alsace region of France. I looked it up in Jancis Robinson's classic text Vines Grapes & Wines without much success. Wikipedia suggests it's a cross of gouais blanc and pinot noir, the same parentage of chardonnay. Adelsheim's site suggests this cross is from medival times and responsible for aligote, gamay and 10 other varieities. I don't understand how that works, but I find it fascinating.

How did the wine taste? As the Adelsheim link suggests, there were lots of pear and honey aromas and flavors, with softer acid than I expected. One taster suggested it was a little sweet. I found it to be dry, with a fruity impression, so I can understand that. What was remarkable here was the finesse and length. It's not the moxt complex wine, just so delicious and enticing. Thanks to our hosts for taking the wine steward's recommendation at a local shop and picking this up.


Catherine Douglas said...

Thanks so much for your comments about the Adelsheim Auxerrois! We appreciate the article. Best wishes for the holiday season!

Vincent Fritzsche said...

Well aren't you quick to find a mention of your winery. Nice job. Thanks for the good wine, yet another in the long history. I'm not alone in really appreciating the work you're doing with lesser known grapes. Keep it up.