Last Call for Summer Whites: H3 Pinot Gris

Does it pay to blog? I mean, literally, can I get paid to write? I love writing: politics, religion, daily deep thoughts, wine. I took the unnecessary creative writing classes in college; wrote on topics I was told were “impossible” and turned them into semi-published works. Not too bad for a student who was told at one point, “Jenn, you really can’t write worth a damn.” I got a solid “B” grade in high school, mostly because the teacher still really liked me. I had considered a career in journalism at one point as that would pay me to write. But for fear “media politics” would get in the way (and a overly saturated market), I backed out and went back to Psychology.

My love for writing and my love for wine is the real reason I started this blog. It was a great way to blend my two passions and give me something to do while on summer break. It was after a week long trip to visit my sister in San Francisco, wine tasting up in Napa and Sonoma, that I realized, “yes, California wine is pretty great, but there is something about home I miss.” I missed Washington’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Sorry, Sonoma. I had noticed people would, in a sense, turn their nose up when it came to Washington wine; or worse, if it were supported, it was almost out of sympathy, as though it was liked only because “it’s local.” Disclaimer: What I experienced in Spokane may not have been representative of the population, as I have since met many who are just as enthused as I in promoting our great state’s wine industry. However, I feared I had begun to lose my real sense of writing, wondered if I was becoming concerned with who might read this and judge harshly. I still stand by all my ratings thus far on wine, but I did have to ask myself, “Who am I writing for?” Simply, the answer is, “Me” and you, my reader. I’m writing to share my experiences as I try new wine, as I take the gamble on a label I’m unfamiliar with. And to inform you, the reader, of my honest, heart-felt thoughts on the wine, to better inform you before you make your next purchase.

With this being said, I bring to you tonight a 2009 H3 Pinot Gris from Columbia Crest winery, of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. I recall years ago loving this wine. Would I still love it today, as I expose my review for the entire world to see?

Pale straw yellow in color, this wine opens up with aromas of grass, lemon zest and apple blossoms. Reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate, I am welcomed with honeydew melon and notes of lemon-lime citrus. The finish is juicy and mouthwatering as a slight peach note gives way to the crispness of a Pinot Gris. The wine rates low in acidity, a feature I do prefer. I enjoy a juicy white wine, but this one lacks the flavors I tend to favor in my white wines (apricot, peach, other stone fruits, maybe even cantaloupe). I feel this wine would benefit from having a bit more juicy fruit (pineapple?) to balance the citrus and lemon. So how do I rate it?

Columbia Crest H3 2009 Pinot Gris: ★★★ good/decent wine

Wine Spectator rated this wine 89 points ( Fair rating overall. Two years ago I loved this wine! Today, I am looking for more in a white wine. With that being said, I will keep looking for another Pinot Gris to keep on hand, but I will certainly recommend this to a young oenophile, sensitive to the price of wine. I can occasionally find this in stores, often wide-ranging between $12 to $18. Columbia Crest’s website offers the 2010 vintage for $15 at:

This bottle officially wraps up my last white wine in my “Cellar in Progress.” So many possibilities out there! Quite excited to get hunting again for another!


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