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A Light White from Oregon

Benton-Lane Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2007
Dana Nigro
Posted: January 6, 2009

While up in Cambridge, Mass., my husband and I dined at Henrietta's Table in the Charles Hotel, where chef Peter Davis serves homey New England dishes in a farmhouse-style setting with the care in sourcing fresh, local ingredients that raises the food to the sublime.

I opted for a starter of a loosely knit crab cake topped with pea tendrils, followed by seared King salmon with pear-apple chutney. With those, I decided to try a glass of the 2007 Pinot Gris from Benton-Lane. I appreciate that the winery uses screw caps to avoid cork taint and farms its Willamette Valley estate vineyard sustainably, having earned both LIVE and Salmon Safe certifications (though the Pinot Gris is sourced from other growers).

The wine's soft, juicy fruit didn't overwhelm the delicate flavors of the crab, and its apple and pear notes perfectly complemented the topping on the salmon. It wasn't a wine I gave a lot of thought to during our conversation, but it was so food-friendly that I found I kept reaching for another sip—and then another glass. 88 points, non-blind. For those who want to pick up the wine at retail, at a reasonable $16 per bottle, the price is easy to swallow, too.

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