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Wine of the Week for week ending 15 Mar 2009
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Spy Valley Envoy Pinot Gris 2007
Marlborough, New Zealand

You know you are on to a winner when you pour your friends a glass of wine and they say, "Mmmm that's delicious."

"What is it?" they ask. They could have looked at the label, but the tall tapering bottle and the dark coloured label is unfamiliar. By now the bottle is back in the ice bucket, anyway.

You tell them it is Pinot Gris and they raise their eyebrows. "Really," one of them says. "I've never tasted Pinot Gris like this before," says another.

Yes, Pinot Gris, but not just any Pinot Gris. This is Spy Valley's top label 'Envoy' and the 2007 vintage is a stunning successor to the inaugural 2006 release.

Grapes were hand selected and picked from their original plantings of Pinot Gris. They were then whole bunch pressed and fermented in German oak ovals. The wine was aged for a further seven months on lees prior to bottling. Now that the wine has had over a year in bottle, it is simply delicious.

Spy Valley Envoy Pinot Gris 2007 is a light golden colour. The scents entice with spice and floral nuances. In the mouth the texture is satin sheet smooth and the taste is spicy and gently floral with a lovely fresh seam of tangy citrus and a finish that fleshes out with freshly picked yellow-flesh peach. A hint of oak adds just the right amount of complexity. The result is very satisfying as the wine slips across the tongue to coat it with a vinous memory.

The notes say this wine has 17 grams of residual sugar and the acid is low but it doesn't taste overly sweet, in fact I would never have guessed that sugar content. It tastes just on the cusp of off dry but has that textural lusciousness.

It worked beautifully with a cerviche of tuna, and later with pork with a pear and Thai basil sauce.

This Pinot Gris is just one of the wines in the exciting 'Envoy' range.

I like the play on words, the envoy being the messenger carrying information to the spies. Or as Spy Valley says, " delivering the message of land and time".

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© Sue Courtney
8 Mar 2009

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