Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pinot Gris - Tasting Notes

Brad Post:
Pinot Gris/Grigio Tasting Notes:  If this is wine boot camp then last week must have been “hell-week” where our drill sergeant, Paul, pushed us to our sensory limits.  The last thing I remember, with my face in the mud, was his comment about me holding my wine glass incorrectly, he said something like “grasp by the stem not the bowl, maggot!”…everything after that was a blur.  Doing an about-face, this week we turn our taste buds to the innocuous Pinot Gris/Grigio.  Here are my notes, in the order we tasted:
1.  Torresella (2008) Pinot Grigio, Veneto – Italy.  (12% alc., Source: Hy-Vee, Cost: $12)
The first wine was a simple and easily slurpable white wine without much depth or personality. Light aromas of peach, strawberry and kiwi were barely noticeable in the pale light straw colored wine. In the mouth this summertime white was easy, if not a little boring, and exhibited a round, rich and tart (lemony zing) sensations.  A quickly fading wine leaving behind a slight sense of astringency mid-palate. Easy to drink. Not very memorable.
2. Francis Ford Coppola (2007) Presents - Bianco: Pinot Grigio (CA). (13.4% alc. Source: ? Cost: $11)
Subtle straw hues and flavors reminiscent of honeydew melon are the hallmark of this innocent white wine. Indistinguishably modest flavors from the citrus family were underwhelming with maybe a suggestion of light spice on the finish.  Quaffable. Warm to Hot and some bitterness in the finish. 
3.King Estate (2008) Acrobat Pinot Gris (OR). (12.5%. Source? Cost: $12).
Incredibly light straw to almost clear this Oregon Pinot Gris surprised my taste buds. Expecting another mass-produced, factory-made, and board-room conceived Pinot Gris, I was astounded by the aromatic and flavor profile of this seductively delicious Gris.  A blast of tropical fruit pleasantly captured my olfactory attention. Pleasing layers of apple, pear, and lemon zest accompanied by just a tease of residual sugar. Jam-packed with glorious, mouth-filling Pinot Gris that lasts and lasts.  Amazing!  Extraordinarily Yummy!  A bottle to fight over!
Post Tasting Comment:  Pinot Gris is the second fastest growing segment in the white wine production world totaling more than $709 million in the past 52 weeks (according to Wine Business Monthly and Nielson – 2/2010). With almost more than twice the number of dollar sales than White Zinfandel, Pinot Gris is expanding at a rate of more than 4% per year (contrast that to Chardonnay with sales of $1.95 Billion and increases of 2.7%).  A neutral wine, mostly, and continues to build as a crowd-pleaser.  All the wines in this tasting were fine.  The Torresella and Francis Ford Coppola were both good wines and it is easy to understand why large numbers of consumers would enjoy this wine style.  Thankfully, there are variations on a theme and the King Estate – Acrobat: Pinot Gris was an extraordinary and sensational example of how this wine should be made. The winemaker notes for the Acrobat indicates cold fermentation and sur lee treatment.  All I can say is…I want more!

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