Etude was founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard long before the harvest, with superior grape growing leading to wines with authentic varietal expression and a telling reflection of where they are grown and produced. We produce a distinctive, highly enjoyable style of Pinot Gris that is seamlessly aromatic, supple and dry.
Simply pretty and light on its feet, this classic Pinot Gris offers a solid acid backbone with aromas and flavors of pear, applesauce and stone fruit, with hints of quince, lime and peach blossoms. A touch of spice adds intrigue, leading to a notable, persistent finish.
Vintage & Vineyard Notes
A near perfect season, welcomed after several tense vintages, began with abundant February rains followed by drying sun and weather that allowed for even flowering and bud break. The slightly later start was followed by consistently ideal weather, with harvest for Rose in early September. Generally normal to heavier fruit with great flavor and complexity will be the hallmark of the season.
This wine is crafted from grapes grown at our Estate Vineyard, Grace Benoist Ranch. Certified Alsatian clones are planted here in deep, well-drained loamy soils which are perfect for capturing memorable flavors. The cooler temperatures driven by nearby San Pablo Bay provide for a long and even growing season, allowing the Pinot Gris fruit to fully ripen while still preserving natural acidity. The Grace Benoist Estate vineyard is farmed to Etude’s exacting standards, using environmentally sound viticultural practices. We grow, and ultimately harvest, focusing on intensity of flavor, strong varietal delineation and ideal natural balance. Etude is sustainably certified under the Napa Green program at the winery, while Grace Benoist Ranch is certified under the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
Winemaking & Winemaker’s Notes
We harvested the Pinot Gris into small bins at night and rushed them to our winery in order to retain the freshness and purity of the fruit. After gently pressing the whole clusters, the juice for the 2018 Pinot Gris was transferred to small, 75-gallon stainless steel barrels for fermentation, and then allowed to mature undisturbed for five months sur lie (ageing on the lees), enhancing the silky texture and mouthfeel, before a very gentle bottling. The wine never touches a sliver of oak, nor does any portion undergo malolactic fermentation. Residual Sugar is modest, at 0.7gms/L.
For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma’s Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California’s Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.
Blend: 100% Pinot Gris
Enclosure Type: Cork
Stainless steel barrels and sur lie ageing for 5 months
“Etude was founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard long before the harvest and that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in authentic varietal expression. This remains our approach today as we continue to build the Etude legacy.” - Jon Priest, Etude Winemaker
What began thirty years ago as a philosophical state of mind is now a state-of-the-art winemaking facility where the ancient art of winemaking is pursued with a singular passion.
Etude Wines is dedicated to the study of the craft of winegrowing. In classical music, an etude is a composition with a technical focus that allows the musician to practice a particular technique. Similarly, Etude wines are the product of deliberate concentration on the instructive variables of the craft. The end game is not edification alone, but rather the wine itself as a source of enjoyment.
Working together in this oenological quest for perfection are current winemaker Jon Priest and Ast. Winemaker Rob Fischer. They transform the very finest Carneros and Napa Valley grapes into world-class wines sought out by the most discriminating wine lovers. In addition to its widely acclaimed Carneros Pinot Noir and legendary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Etude has also developed a loyal following for Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Merlot and Pinots from the most sought after AVAs around the world.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IA, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, WA, WV, WI
Greetings from Minneapolis.
If you happen to follow current events you will understand why I am so happy to have received a bottle of Etude Pinot Gris and post my very first official Lab Rat Report.
Winters can be long In Minnesota and during this time my husband and I turn to reds.
As luck would have it, I received a bottle of Etude Pinot Gris on April 6th. A little research shows that the ice went out on Cass Lake that day and so, thoughts of summer and white wines are appropriate.
And yes, ice out dates are a thing. If you would like, you can find more information here: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_out/index.html
It was a happy coincidence that we had planned a “fully vaccinated” dinner with friends Friday night. You have the benefit of evaluations by the 4 of us.
I explained the task at hand to our guests and here are the responses compared with and without food.
Out of the fridge and into a glass – yeast and alcohol. This dissipated after a few minutes. By the time our friends had arrived they did not sniff much of anything.
Without food and recently removed from the fridge we had : astringent, puckery, yummy, mid palate and ‘it’s good”. The wine was dry and had grapefruit pith undertones.
This went away, and was much tastier with a softer mouthfeel after it sat for half an hour at room temperature.
With dinner - We paired this with grilled salmon and a salad with walnuts, pears and goat cheese. We also had a Russian River Valley Chardonnay on the table. As the wine warmed up a bit it lost the astringent taste and bitter undertones. None of us really tasted a discernable fruit or citrus. Compared to the Chardonnay this wine lacked the oak barrel taste and was lighter and more refreshing, which was fine with me.
This is a dry wine. There was a minerality that reminded me of a dry Riesling.
We all liked the wine. In the end I would say this is not a hanging around on the back porch sipping wine. It isn’t a luscious or elegant wine. Instead, it is a wine that plays a great supporting role. It will, I believe, add to and highlight your meal without fuss or fanfare.
I’m not a rat on this one, and I don’t have any formal tasting notes, but I’m an Etude club member and get a bunch of this every year. Great wine, and this case price is a steal, given I last paid $26/bottle. The bottle itself is narrow and tall, so while it looks fancy, storage gets interesting when you have these interspersed with bordeaux shaped bottles.
@SoSmellyAir@tburritt these look like standard Alsatian/German bottles. Taller than normal, sure, but they fit in most racks if you put the first one in bottom first and the second one in top first.
If your real is only one deep, though…
My apologies for this rating coming so late in the sale, but perhaps it will still be of value to any late comers.
I was surprised by UPS with a package prior to any email from Alice, but eventually the email came; thanks again for the Rat selection! I feel that I have lucked out on another fantastic wine with which to Rat and tell.
Upon receipt, into the wine cooler went the very long, slender, and sophisticated bottle of Pinot Gris. Seriously this is one tall bottle that may or may not fit into your cellar, cooler, rack, refrigerator, etc. Don’t let that sway you in the least, however, because the quality of this wine is an absolute steal at the price offered here (just bought my 4 pack!).
Once properly chilled to 50F in preparation for dinner, the song and dance went much the same as the other Rat: initial PnP yielded a bit of earthy, yeasty, funk on the cork and in the first pour, but that subsided quickly. Early aromas were light and delicate with notes of sweet candied pear. The color is about as light as you will see with a Pinot Gris, tempting one to assume very little in the way of complexity or depth, but that is certainly not the case. This is a moderately rich PG, ripe with more sweet pear and citrus, balanced with a pithy tannic structure that leads to a lovely mineral tart lemon finish. It truly has the quality of fresh squeezed lemon the finish, in the best possible way.
Wife and I found it to be a lengthy evolution that was somewhat surprising from such a light colored wine. The tannins really do hold the wine together as it progresses and leaves a very refreshing sensation. It is a dry PG, but not without that sweet pear nose and initial sensation, which we both really enjoyed. (despite my wife not typically enjoying dry whites) This will be a lovely warm/hot weather white to enjoy with food or as an evening refreshment.