White Varietal: Pinot Gris/Grigio
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.
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.
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.
How to choose a white wine: a beginner’s guideby Ron Washam
Searching for the perfect Pinot Grigioby Matt Walls
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.
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.
2011 Greywacke Pinot Gris, Marlborough( £13.33, 14%, thedrinkshop.com )
Made in a spicy, off-dry style that takes its inspiration from Alsace rather than northern Italy, this is a finely weighted Pinot Gris, with musk, peach and pear flavours, a creamy texture and enough acidity for balance. Exotic, but refreshing at the same time.