This week's wine, a luscious salute to spring, has visions of big, ripe, sun-warmed pears dancing in our heads. Colette, who usually is not given to corrupting the language, did not hesitate to declare the 2008 King Estate Domaine Oregon Pinot Gris "pearlicious."
This lush, velvety white nudges the upper limit of our price ceiling for this column, going for about $24 at big-box stores, but it's worth it. We all deserve this treat after our seemingly endless series of cold, dreary winter days.
King makes many wines in several series, with special emphasis on pinot gris and pinot noir, but all of the grapes in the Domaine series are organically grown in a single vineyard and are fermented in steel and aged on the lees for 11 months, producing a big round wine with a crisp finish. The pears appear as soon as the wine is poured, flooding the senses with the heady aroma of an orchard at harvest time. Pears also dominate on the tongue but are balanced by a touch of fresh ginger, a smidgen of understated vanilla at mid palate and a spark of grapefruit on the long, clean finish.
Pair this beauty with the last of the season's stone crab claws or with grilled wild-caught sockeye salmon in a lime and honey glaze.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.