Joseph Cattin ORANGE Pinot Gris 22

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In the wine world, trends come and go; however, few trends come and go as quickly or regularly as orange wine. Here at the shop, we've heard quite a lot about orange wine through the years, and recently, it seems to be making yet another comeback.

When made well, orange wines can be sublime. Unfortunately, most of the ones we taste are seriously lacking in the sublime department. Happily, we just came across one that is truly sublime and eminently worthy of a spot on the AWM shelves.

Orange wine, while often a point of intrigue in the wine world, is made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice for an extended period, typically from a few days and even up to several weeks. Traditionally used for red wines, this process imparts a distinct orange hue during the production of white wine. Orange wines generally exhibit a richer, more robust character than whites, with a tannic structure not ordinarily present in most white wines.

Orange wines have once again risen in popularity in recent years; however, scant few orange wines over the years have made the grade required for a spot on the shelves of the AWM. Last week, one did make the grade, and with flying colors. That orange jewel is the Maison Cattin Orange Pinot Gris.

Located between Germany and France, the Alsace AOC is a melting pot of cultures influenced by both countries' histories, traditions, and customs. The charming towns, rolling vineyards, and the Vosges Mountains all contribute to the allure of this gorgeous wine region. Thanks to its unique location and the combination of Franco-Germanic influences, Alsace is an ideal region for wine production.

The Alsace region is celebrated for its diverse wine production, featuring a variety of grapes, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Muscat. The cooler climate of Alsace contributes to the development of wines with crisp acidity, ripe roundness on the palate, and vibrantly aromatic richness, making them both refreshing and suitable for enjoyment in the fall and winter. I find the Alsace wines harmonize beautifully with the cooler months in Western North Carolina, offering a comforting richness and complexity.

You'll find the Cattin family's vineyards and winery in the town of Voegtlinshoffen, a 40-minute ride south of Strasbourg. This family-run estate has been a foundation of viticultural excellence for generations, and they are one of the largest independent land-holders in the Alsace.

In 2007, Jacques Cattin Jr. and his wife Anaïs took over management of the estate, infusing new energy and vision into the Domaine. Their leadership has dutifully upheld the winery's storied and hyper-traditional legacy; however, they have also introduced a slew of innovative practices and techniques, cementing the winery's continued relevance and excellence in the region's wine scene.

In your glass, the Cattin Orange Pinot Gris presents a mesmerizing amber-orange hue, redolent of an autumn sunset. Aromas of ripe orchard fruits greet the nose, framed by subtle floral notes and an intriguing earthiness. The palate unfolds with layers of citrus zest, stone fruit, and a whisper of subtle spiciness, balanced with a refreshing acidity and a well-textured mouthfeel. The lengthy finish features a subtle but present stream of exceptionally delicate tannin, separating this orange gem from any standard Pinot Gris.

The versatility, and especially the ever-so-gentle whisper of tannin, makes Cattin's Orange Pinot Gris an excellent partner for a wide range of your culinary creations. It particularly shines when paired with roasted poultry, white meats, and rich seafood like tuna or salmon, and it will do nicely with moderately spiced dishes. It's also a superb accompaniment to cheese and charcuterie boards.

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