Wine

Aro­matic pinot gris has found firm favour with fans of NZ white va­ri­etals.

New Zealand Listener - - CONTENTS - By Michael Cooper

Aro­matic pinot gris has found firm favour with fans of NZ white va­ri­etals.

Our love af­fair with pinot gris shows no signs of abat­ing. From 130 hectares of vines in 2000, plant­ings have sky­rock­eted to 2500ha to­day. A mu­ta­tion of pinot noir, with skin colours rang­ing from blue-grey to red­dish-pink, pinot gris is our third-most­planted white-wine va­ri­ety, trail­ing only sauvi­gnon blanc and chardon­nay, and you can choose from more than 300 la­bels.

Am­is­field Cen­tral Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Show­ing good per­son­al­ity, this is a full-bod­ied (13.5% alc/vol), medium-dry style, still youth­ful, with gen­er­ous, ripe, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, show­ing very good com­plex­ity, and a tightly struc­tured, lin­ger­ing fin­ish. $30 Askerne Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017 Made in a mouth­fill­ing (13.5% alc/ vol), off-dry style, this ripely scented, Al­sace-style wine is rich, with good con­cen­tra­tion of stone-fruit, pear and spice flavours, a hint of gin­ger and a smooth fin­ish. $23 Awa­tere River by Louis Vava­sour 2017 Grown mostly in the Awa­tere Val­ley, this fresh, vi­brantly fruity wine is at­trac­tively scented and full-bod­ied (13% alc/vol), with pure, del­i­cate pear and ly­chee flavours, some peachy, spicy notes and a dry fin­ish. $21

Babich Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2017

Made in a dry style, this is a fra­grant and fleshy, Al­sace-style wine, mouth­fill­ing (14% alc/ vol), with gen­er­ous, peachy, slightly spicy, vaguely hon­eyed flavours and a very har­mo­nious, well­rounded fin­ish. $22

Black Cot­tage Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2018

From Two Rivers, this in­stantly ap­peal­ing, freshly scented wine is mouth­fill­ing (13% alc/vol), with good depth of pear, peach and spice flavours. Dry­ish and lively. $18 Black­en­brook Nel­son Pinot Gris 2018 Es­tate-grown and hand­har­vested, this flo­ral, finely tex­tured wine is a medium-dry style, full-bod­ied (13% alc/vol), with fresh pear, ly­chee and spice flavours, show­ing ex­cel­lent del­i­cacy and depth. $25 Chard Farm Cen­tral Otago Pinot Gris 2017 Al­ready de­li­cious, this im­pres­sive wine was hand­har­vested in the Cromwell Basin. Full-bod­ied (13.9% alc/vol), it is vi­brant and sweet-fruited, with gen­er­ous, ripe peach, pear and spice flavours, bal­anced acid­ity and a dry, well-rounded fin­ish. $27 Do­main Road De­fi­ance Ban­nock­burn Pinot Gris 2018 Pale and per­fumed, this sin­gle-vine­yard, Cen­tral Otago wine was mostly han­dled in tanks; 14% was bar­rel fer­mented. Mouth­fill­ing (13% alc/vol), with fresh pear and spice aro­mas, it is a vividly va­ri­etal, off-dry style, show­ing very good del­i­cacy, depth and har­mony. $25

Durvil­lea by Astro­labe Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2017

Bar­gain-priced, this is a full­bod­ied (13% alc/vol), dry style. Freshly scented, it has clearly va­ri­etal flavours of cit­rus fruit, pear and spices show­ing very good depth. $15

Ge­orges Road Se­lec­tion Waipara Pinot Gris 2017

Full of per­son­al­ity, this North Can­ter­bury wine was fer­mented in old oak bar­rels. Mouth­fill­ing (14% alc/vol), with stone-fruit and spice flavours, a vague hint of honey, and ex­cel­lent com­plex­ity and rich­ness; it’s a dry style that is al­ready drink­ing well. $26 Grey­stone Waipara Val­ley Pinot Gris 2017 Al­ready de­li­cious, this ripely scented wine is full-bod­ied (13.5% alc/vol) and fleshy, with highly con­cen­trated stone-fruit and spice flavours, a hint of gin­ger, good com­plex­ity, a creamy tex­ture and a dry fin­ish. Cer­ti­fied or­ganic. $26

Greywacke Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2016

This pow­er­ful, bar­rel-aged wine is fra­grant, sturdy (14.5% alc/vol) and rich, with slightly sweet stone-fruit, gin­ger and spice flavours show­ing ex­cel­lent com­plex­ity, del­i­cacy and depth. $29

Hans Her­zog Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2017

Pre­pare for some­thing dif­fer­ent: this thought-pro­vok­ing wine is apri­cot-coloured, from lengthy skin con­tact with the juice, and was partly oak-aged. Per­fumed and weighty (14% alc/vol), it is bone-dry, with pow­er­ful peach, straw­berry and apri­cot flavours and loads of per­son­al­ity. Cer­ti­fied or­ganic. $39

Mahi Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2018

This sin­gle-vine­yard wine was hand-picked in the Awa­tere Val­ley and fer­mented to full dry­ness. Freshly scented, it is mouth­fill­ing (13% alc/vol), with youth­ful, cit­rusy, spicy, slightly peachy and nutty flavours show­ing a touch of com­plex­ity and a crisp fin­ish. $22 Main Di­vide North Can­ter­bury Pinot Gris 2016 From Pe­ga­sus Bay, this is a medium style, drink­ing well now. Bright yel­low, with a slightly hon­eyed fra­grance, it is weighty (13% alc/ vol), with con­cen­trated, well-ripened peach and apri­cot flavours, spicy, hon­eyed notes and a rich, slightly sweet, very har­mo­nious fin­ish. $21

Misha’s Vine­yard Dress Cir­cle Cen­tral Otago Pinot Gris 2017

This at­trac­tive, youth­ful wine was es­tate-grown at Bendigo and part of the blend was fer­mented with in­dige­nous yeasts in old French oak bar­rels. Made in an off-dry style, it is highly fra­grant and weighty (13.5% alc/vol), with pure pear, ly­chee and stone-fruit flavours show­ing ex­cel­lent fresh­ness, del­i­cacy and length. $28

Monowai Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017

From a cool, el­e­vated, in­land site at Crown­thorpe, this invit­ingly scented wine is drink­ing well. Medium-bod­ied (12% alc/vol), with vi­brant, peachy, slightly spicy and hon­eyed flavours, a sliver of sweet­ness and im­pres­sive vigour, va­ri­etal char­ac­ter and depth, it of­fers fine value. $18

Mount Ri­ley Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2018

Bar­gain-priced, this is a full­bod­ied (13% alc/vol), fresh wine with pear, peach, ly­chee and spice flavours, show­ing good va­ri­etal char­ac­ter. An off-dry style, it is at­trac­tively scented with ex­cel­lent del­i­cacy and vi­brancy. $18 Mt Dif­fi­culty Ban­nock­burn Pinot Gris 2017 Grown and hand-picked at Ban­nock­burn, in Cen­tral Otago, this freshly scented and mouth­fill­ing wine (14% alc/vol) was made in a ba­si­cally dry style. Vi­brantly fruity, it has strong, pure pear and ly­chee flavours, a hint of spici­ness and ex­cel­lent del­i­cacy, har­mony and depth. $27

Quartz Reef Bendigo Es­tate Sin­gle Vine­yard Cen­tral Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Cer­ti­fied bio­dy­namic, this very classy wine was hand­har­vested at Bendigo. It is highly scented and mouth­fill­ing (13.5% alc/vol), with beau­ti­fully vi­brant, well­ripened pear, ly­chee and spice flavours show­ing ex­cel­lent in­ten­sity, finely bal­anced acid­ity and a dry, lin­ger­ing fin­ish. It’s al­ready de­li­cious. $33

Ra­paura Springs Re­serve Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2018

Of­fer­ing very easy drink­ing, this freshly scented, ex­u­ber­antly fruity wine is full-bod­ied (13.5% alc/vol), with ripe, peachy flavours, a sliver of sweet­ness and gen­tle acid­ity. En­joy­able young. $19 Sad­dle­back Cen­tral Otago Pinot Gris 2018 In­stantly ap­peal­ing, this tank-fer­mented, lees-aged wine is in­tensely va­ri­etal, with mouth­fill­ing body (13.5% alc/vol), vi­brant, con­cen­trated pear, peach and ly­chee flavours, frac­tional sweet­ness, finely bal­anced acid­ity and a

flo­ral bou­quet. $24 Stoneleigh Wild Val­ley Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2018 Priced sharply, this fra­grant, finely bal­anced wine is al­ready de­li­cious, with mouth­fill­ing body (13% alc/vol), pear, peach and spice flavours show­ing very good vigour, depth and har­mony and a slightly sweet, crisp fin­ish. $18 Sum­mer­house Marl­bor­ough Pinot Gris 2018 This good-value re­gional blend is freshly aro­matic and full-bod­ied (13.5% alc/vol), with good in­ten­sity of vi­brant, ripe pear, ly­chee and spice flavours and a dry­ish fin­ish. $19

Ter­race Edge Waipara Pinot Gris 2017

Worth cel­lar­ing, this char­ac­ter­ful wine was mostly fer­mented with in­dige­nous yeasts in old oak bar­rels. Weighty (13.5% alc/vol) and fleshy, it has strong, ripe peach, pear and spice flavours, show­ing good com­plex­ity, a gen­tle splash of sweet­ness and a rich, smooth fin­ish. $25 Thorn­bury Waipara Pinot Gris 2018 A rare ex­am­ple of a low-priced pinot gris with per­son­al­ity. This North Can­ter­bury wine is full-bod­ied (13.5% alc/vol) and vi­brantly fruity, with gen­er­ous stone-fruit and pear flavours, gen­tle spicy notes, fresh acid­ity and an offdry fin­ish. Great value. $15

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