89

2014 De Bortoli La Bohème Act Three, Pinot Gris & Friends, Yarra Valley, Victoria

( £13.95, 13.5%, Slurp )

One for opera buffs, or possibly just bohemians, this is an Aussie take on an Alsace-style blend, based on Pinot Gris. Aromatic and appealing, with orchard fruit and spring blossom on the nose, it segues into waxy, pear and apple spice flavours and a tangy finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2016-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Australia, White, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio
90

2012 Mavum Pinot Grigio/Pinot Nero, Veneto

( £9.50, 12.5%, Amp Fine Wines, Hennings Wine Merchants )

Pinot Grigio and Pinot Nero are very close genetically, so why not combine them in a white wine, vinifying the latter without its skins? The result is rather tasty, with aromatic, Golden Delicious apple, pear and quince notes, and just a hint of wild strawberry. Unoaked, refined and well balanced, this is a real find for less than £10.

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Italy, White, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris/Grigio
92

2013 Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris, Nelson

( £23, 14%, Must Wines )

Neudorf is best known for its Pinots and especially its stellar Chardonnay, but winemaker Tim Finn can turn his hand to aromatic white grapes, too. This rich, musky, off-dry Pinot Gris is a case in point. Floral and intense, it combines notes of rose petal, sweet pears and quince, supported by acidity. Complex stuff with less residual sugar than many Kiwi examples of the grape. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, New Zealand, White, Pinot Gris/Grigio
90

2012 Steitz Grauer Burgunder Trocken, Rheinhessen

( £13.00, 13%, Chix and Buck )

You might be surprised to learn that Germany sells more Grauer Burgunder (aka Pinot Gris) in the UK than Riesling. The statistic is less depressing when you taste a wine like this soft, pear, fig and apple-like example from the Rheinhessen, however. A very appealing dry white with more acidity than is immediately apparent. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Germany, White, Pinot Gris/Grigio
90

2012 Astrolabe Province Pinot Gris, Marlborough

( £17.99 down to £13.49, 13.5%, Waitrose )

Both of my regular readers will know that I am not the greatest fan of Pinot Grigio/Gris when it’s watery and doesn’t taste of much. But this Kiwi example from the Awatere and Wairau Valleys is a very smart wine indeed. It’s just off-dry, with good texture and weight and beguiling flavours of pear and stone fruit. The wine finishes fresh and long on the palate. A really good food wine, too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, New Zealand, White, Pinot Gris/Grigio

Argentina’s Malbec obsession

by Tim Atkin
Is Argentina too dependent on Malbec? The question might seem absurd – few countries have managed to associate themselves so successfully with a single grape – but it’s beginning to...

Alsace and the meaning of tradition

by Tim Atkin
The wine world thrives on novelty: new vintages, new flavours, new producers. In some ways, this is both understandable and necessary. Creating a bit of sizzle around a category that,...