Lichen Estate Pinot Gris 2018

Anderson Valley, California

$25 (Wine Club Reorder – $22)

Breggo’s back, baby! Well, sort of. If you don’t know Breggo, back in 2006 it was home of the “Finest Pinot Gris of the New World” and was the “Best New Winery in 2008.” Winemaker and owners Douglas and Ana Lucia Stewart took an offer they couldn’t refuse and sold the Breggo name in 2009 but kept their land. For 5 years they planned and prepared their soils to grow even better organic grapes. Then, in 2014, Lichen Estate was ready for their first release.

Doug and Ana Lucia named their farm “Lichen Estate” in honor of its beauty and grace and the green lichen on the oaks studding the property. One might call Lichen Estate “The Pinot People” because they only make Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, both still and sparkling wines.

Lichen Estate is 203 acres overlooking Highway 128 in Anderson Valley. The vineyard comprises 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Gris vines on southeast facing slopes. Lichen Estate farms 100% organically. We’ve fallen in love with Lichen’s 2016 Sparkling Brut Rose as well as a past wine club favorite, the 2017 White Pinot Noir, and are excited to share the newest release with you, the 2018 Pinot Gris.

The 2018 Pinot Gris offers Lichen’s richest take yet on this dazzling aromatic varietal. Opulent and ripe fruit abounds, yet the wine remains jazzy and refreshing. Clocking in at 13.7% alcohol, it strays from more restrained prior vintages but has been a crowd-pleaser in the tasting room and a new favorite among the staff. This is not your typical Pinot Gris. It is riper and fuller than most of its lighter, quaffable cousins and shows the significant fruity presence of a rather more serious look at the variety. It exhibits a good palatal weight with plenty of peachy, mineral-tinged fruit running its length. Slight residual sugar accentuates its inherent juiciness and its careful balance ages well for a few years.

This wine is the perfect pair for your sushi dinner. Delicate fish deserves a delicate wine that will cleanse the palate, and Pinot Gris does exactly that. It also goes well with fried dishes and cuts the oil, it will also complement any rolls served with tempura-fried ingredients like shrimp or yams. 

Jennie Kaplan Woodson – January 2021

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