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Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 7.07.01 PMOnce again here I am reviewing one of my favorite Virginia winemakers wine, the 2012 Gabriele Rausse Vin Gris de Pinot Noir. If you have no idea who Gabriele Rausse is, please enter his name in the search bar on my site and you will get a full education. Naturally, this is going to cut this review pretty short with almost no need for background information on the winemaker. But what about the wine?

Vin Gris means white wine made from red grapes. I am sure if you know anything about wine, you know that Pinot Noir is a very popular red wine. So obviously, this wine is white wine made from Pinot Noir grapes. As to even the most intermediate wine drinker this may seem really crazy but Pinot Noir is actually a common grape in many Champagne productions.

Pinot Noir is not an easy grape to grow. According to Wikipedia:

Pinot noir is also used in the production of Champagne (usually along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier) and is planted in most of the world’s wine growing regions for use in both still and sparkling wines. Pinot noir grown for dry table wines is generally low-yielding and of lesser vigour than many other varieties, whereas when grown for use in sparkling wines (e.g. Champagne) it is generally cropped at significantly higher yields.

I only know of one Virginia winery that has been able to successfully make a red Pinot Noir and that review will come later. Here Gabriele is able to remove the skins and not allow any contact with the juice making it perfect white. This is what the Margaux & Company website has to say about his wine:

100% Pinot Noir, no maceration with the skin.  Stainless steel fermentation.  This is a white wine that will surprise you with candied floral and apple flavors.  Soft and round on the mouth with a bold, crisp finish.  This wine is only produced if Gabriele is able to secure ripe Pinot Noir.

So how was the wine?

Color – Bright gold.

Nose – A little bit of light apple crisp. It was slightly floral.

Taste – Tart apple with low acid.

Finish – It really isn’t as dry as a brut champagne but it definitely feels like a “champagne without the bubbles.”

Overall, a really great wine that most people do not even realize exist. With Gabriele’s and the grape’s stories, this is a great wine to take over to impress your friends with your wine knowledge. It will also be agreeable with almost anyone’s palate who enjoys a white wine. It is just as meaty as some chardonnays but it is also as crisp as some pinot grigios. Highly recommend you try this wine at least once.

Rating: B+

~Justin