Those who have had Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio should be aware they are different expressions of the same grape varietal. Pinot Grigio is the style of Italy, where the fruit is picked before fully ripe, the wine fermented to dryness and retaining much acidity. Pinot Gris is the style of Alsace, France, where the fruit is much riper and sometimes other techniques such as lees (dead yeast) stirring and the usage of oak give the resulting wine more complexity.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Pale
- Colour: Lemon with gold flecks
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Youthful
- Sweetness: Dry, with some residual sweetness
- Acidity: Medium-
- Alcohol: Medium-
- Body: Medium
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium+
- Quality: Good -> Very Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Drink now, not intended for ageing
- Identity: New Zealand / Marlborough / Pinot Gris
- Price: Mid-priced ($17 – $20)
- Long thick legs (Temperature? Was served straight from fridge)
- Lemon with gold highlights
- Online for $17 – $20
- Aromas of lemon, apple, peach (cut/oxidised), floral
- A touch of sweetness
- Flavors of lychee/longan, ripe peach, orange zest, melon and spice (?)
- Luscious, almost oily texture
- Try with spicy food (Szechuan)
- Pasta (?)
I left this in the fridge overnight, although I should note in formal tastings even white wines are served at room temperature. One of the reasons became apparent as my glass kept frosting over, making it difficult to judge the wine’s colour and depth. The second reason is that certain aromatic compounds are less noticeable at lower temperatures. As the wine warmed up I kept adding to my notes, and in particular I was surprised at the melon character coming out later on. I also noted its thick legs/tears, which noticeably thinned out after a few minutes.
The touch of sweetness on the palate was not unexpected – my hunch is the fruit was picked when very ripe and fermented just shy of full dryness, which would account for the mid-range alcohol level (although typical of white wines). I would have preferred a little more acidity to give the wine some vibrancy on the palate, but it has a very expressive and interesting flavour profile to compensate for this slight shortcoming. Their website indicates no oak usage, but the luscious, almost oily texture on the palate suggests there may have been some lees stirring.
Some Pinot Gris wines have cellaring potential, but I can’t see how this one would develop in the future (although this could just be my lack of experience). I don’t feel it has quite the acid backbone to carry it forward. For me the selling point is its varied and exotic flavour profile and this would only remain so while young.
Overall I would say this is a good wine by itself, but with food it would become a great wine. Something spicy like a Szechwan hot-pot would be fun, with the wine’s soft touch of sweetness counteracting the strong heat. A tomato-based pasta dish, with its higher acidity, would also marry well with this wine.