2019 Maloof 'Where Ya PJs At?'
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States
Grapes: Pinot Gris, Riesling
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: From the Beckenridge + Logsdon Ridge Vineyards, both own rooted, dry farmed, organic; 90% of the Logsdon Ridge Gris was fermented in open top fermenters on the skins, with daily punch downs until dry (16 days) +10% was fermented carbonically, then the two lots were pressed off together and moved into barrel. The Beckenridge gris was fermented in open top bins on the skins, with daily punchdowns until dry (17 days). The Riesling was direct-pressed, and fermented in neutral oak barrels. All the juice was blended together in the late winter, and bottled unfined and unfiltered in March, with no S02 addition; 11.5% ABV; 130 cases
Winemakers: Ross & Bee Maloof
Ross and Bee are a true yin and yang team. She's a former aerospace materials engineer grounded in hard science, he's a restaurant pro who worked for over a decade in the Philly dining scene, most notably as the beverage director and GM for Vedge Restaurant group. Ross broke into the production side by interning for good friend and winemaker Brianne Day in Oregon. For a few years he kept his day job, but was spending a little more time each vintage in the Willamette Valley, finally producing his first wine in 2015. Bee turned her scientific eye from rotorcraft to vinification helping Ross with the 2016 harvest.
Together, in 2017 the couple left their careers on the East coast behind to embark on a westward journey for no particular opportunity, just to be closer to the magic. The gamble paid off, and now they make tiny lots of esoteric Oregon wines at Day Camp, the natural wine co-op started by Brianne Day. But while the labels (and cuveé names) are whimsical and trendy, the Maloofs are not trying to ride the natty wine wave while calling it in on quality. They are committed to sourcing only organic or better fruit, working closely with their farmers, and making very clean, precise wines (Bee's a scientist, after all) with no manipulation but lots of experimentation.
Like this wine, mysteriously named 'Where Ya PJs At?' (don't really get why -- does it mean wine for naked times?). Whatever. It's delicious, something I'd call an orange wine given the skin-contact white bit, but they see it differently. Bee says, “This is sort of a “rosé” for us. As you’ll see on the back of the bottle it states ‘rose-ish’. We wanted to have the playfulness and functionality of a rosé without actually using any red fruit." The juice is more pink than orange, sort of neon salmon in color, pretty and aromatic on the nose. It tastes like a breakfast beverage, a delightful cocktail of grapefruit, plum, and barely-ripe strawberries with a little sea salt and thyme sprinkled. It's structured, not frothy, but very refreshing and easy to drink. Orange, pink, white -- call it what you want, just call it quickly, as they didn't make much and we could only get 2 cases.