‘If you’re looking for a treat to match goose on Christmas Day this is a truly great match’
WHEN I was in Alsace over the summer one of the revelatory experiences I had (there were many) was tasting the Pinot Gris.
Known in Italy as Pinot Grigio, the Pinot Gris in Alsace was almost uniformly aromatic with a sweetish palate suggesting weightier residual sugar than many a typically ‘dry’ white wine.
It’s almost as if the Pinot Grigio known to supermarket shoppers is a completely different grape than the Pinot Gris of Alsace.
And it may be that they are different clones of the same grape or simply that in Alsace it’s generally left on the vine for longer.
However, as I have mentioned before Pinot Grigio from Trentino or Alto Aldige is an entirely different beast from the wine produced in Veneto, where it tends to be insipidly dry.
It also tends to be more expensive but my pick this week from co-operative Bottega Vinal is priced around a £10 – more than reasonable considering the quality. Another grape for which it is easy to make assumptions is Tannat. Astringent and with tannins as tough as old boots in Madiran from the south west of France, tannat is graceful and lightfooted in a bottle from Uruguay.
Don’t forget this week that there may still be time to buy tickets for the Hanging Ditch Wine Fair at Manchester Cathedral.
The two-day extravaganza will feature guests the Wine Gang who will be on hand for master classes and wine walks.
See the website for more details.
Cavit Bottega Vinal Pinot Grigio 2016 (about £10 ampswinemerchants.co.uk, tannico.co.uk cheerswinemerchants.co.uk and other independents)
The grapes for this wine came from two places: Rovere della Luna in Northern Trentino with an Alpine climate and Valle dei Laghi which is a little more Mediterranean.
The result is a luscious ripe wine with aromas of elderflower, mandarin and floral notes.
The palate is waxy with honeyed peachy fruit and good acidity.
A brilliant match for Asian dishes.
Pinot Gris Vieilles Vignes Domaine Zind Humbrecht 2013 (£18 The Wine Society)
If you’re looking for a treat to match goose on Christmas Day this is a truly great match.
Made by one of Alsace’s greatest producers this is superb Pinot Gris that is both opulent and mineral
with zingy acidity.
Pisano Progreso Tannat 2015 (£7.95 The Wine Society)
If you’re used to the grippy tannins and sturdy structure of Madiran, this Tannat, from Uruguay will be a big surprise. It’s as fresh as a Beaujolais with succulent and wellbalanced brambly fruit. It was perfect with our grilled mutton chops.
Cavit Bottega Vinal Pinot Grigio 2016 Pinot Gris Zind Humbrecht 2013