Top 5 New Zealand Pinot Gris· Blog
May 11th, 2011 | By Jayson Bryant | Category: Blog
Top 5 New Zealand Pinot Gris
New Zealand has really started to get its house in order and start making some world class Pinot Gris. Over the last 3 years there has been a dramatic shift away from the over ripe, over sweet, syrup and flabby Pinot Gris.
Nowadays, wineries have learnt how to handle the vines, found the best sites and started to understand the wine as a variety, not just a cash cow.
Pinot Gris, thought to be a mutation of Pinot Noir, literally means ‘grey pine cone’, for its tight berry cluster are representative of a pine cone on the vine.
Traditionally Pinot gris comes from Alsace, in France, and the Lombardy region of Italy, where it is called Pinot Grigio.
New Zealand has a bright future with Pinot Gris as the country has a very diverse climate and soil profile, and it’s grown in most wine regions throughout the country.
Here are my top picks for this exciting wine.
Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris 2010
The ultimate in expression of New Zealand Pinot Gris, that belies even the most sought after wines from France. The aromatics have subtlety, the palate weighted perfectly, and the fruit is pure. Even though this wine could be confused for being French, it still retains a New Zealand quality.
The citrus backbone really shapes the wine, but it is the roundness that is really impressive. All of the boxes are ticked and it’s instantly appealing. Matched with white fleshed fish, it’s a match made in heaven.
Man O’War Ponui Island Pinot Gris 2010
The aromatics are delightful, with white peach and nectarine oozing from the glass. The palate is big, full, and very textural. Grapefruit pith and stone fruits are in harmony with the mineral finish and delicate acid balance. That’s the essence of this wine, it’s in balance!
Seresin Pinot Gris 2009 Marlborough
From the Biodynamic winery owned by cinematographer, Michael Seresin, who has championed organic viticulture, along with the rest of the MANA Marlborough Natural Winegrowers group. The wine is reminiscent of apple crumble and custard on the nose and topped with some white peach. The palate is full and luscious with precision balance. The fruit is ripe and sweet but there is a balance between fruit and minerality that holds it all together.
Neudorf Maggie’s Block Pinot Gris 2010
Another from the stable of Neudorf, they must be doing something right. This wine is more about fruit intensity than the Moutere, but is in no way less appealing. The grapefruit and lemon and lime sorbet spill from the glass.
The balance of the stone fruit and mealiness, texture and dry finish make ideal to be drunk as an aperitif, with shellfish, white fleshed fish, or even a digestif.
Misha’s Vineyard ‘Dress Circle’ Pinot Gris 2010
Star anise and lime zest make for a pleasant introduction to this Central Otago Pinot Gris. The palate, slightly warm, is dry and minerally. The citrus and spicy acid linger well after the last drop has passed the lips.