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foris pinot blancThis is a good wine. But if you happen to be eating oysters, especially big, meaty Fanny Bay oysters, with a Champagne mignonette sauce, it is outstanding. Apple with lemon highlights and hints of ginger on the nose, the palate is full bodied with brine and tangerine flavors cut with  bracing minerality continuing through the long finish. A fleshy wine to go with fleshy food, there is just a whisper of sweetness that perfectly matches the sweetness of the oyster and sufficient acidity to keep everything in balance. It benefits from 6 months of sur lie aging (aging on dead yeast cells).

This mid-size winery and their estate vineyards (about 25,000 cases produced under the Foris label)  are in the Rogue Valley appellation in Southern Oregon where the warm, dry summer days and cool nights mean Alsatian varieties, such as Pinot Blanc, do well. Pinot Blanc, a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir, is an understudy to the better known stars of Alsace—Gewurztraminer and Riesling—and is a minor grape in the U.S. as well. But as this bottling shows, when grown in the right region, it produces interesting and satisfying wines.

Score: 89

Price: $14

Alc: 13.9