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Wine Reviews - Pinot Gris
2008 & 2007 vintages
by Sue Courtney
Last Updated 22 Dec 2011

Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my Pinot Gris notes, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.

Click here for a commentary on Pinot Gris in New Zealand.

[2011/13] [2009/10] [2008] [2007] [2006/2005/2004] [2003 vintage and older] [index]

2008 Vintage [top] [index]

36 Bottles Central Otago Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Straw yellow. The nose is subtle and at first seems neutral but apple, flowers and hints of musk are coaxed from the glass however the taste is immediately so much brighter. It's quite zingy with flavours of creamy soda, apple, lime and earthy nuances reminiscent of cultivated white mushrooms with underlying honey adding to the light viscosity of the texture. There's a richness to the wine and warmth from the alcohol and for Pinot Gris, it has good acid spine. 13.5% alc. $26.99. 6May2009.

Astrolabe Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Slightly herbal on the nose to start; quite subtle aromas but later classical pear and citrus scents. When first opened it's quite steely with flavours from the fermentation yeast lees with a touch of sweetness and acidity giving drive and length to the zesty finish. But let this wine evolve in the bottle and it becomes quite bright and spicy with yellow fruit - makes me think of apricot and custard with a banana passionfruit topping, while the finish is mellow and earthy with a citrussy flourish. Drinks best when chilled - it's a little more viscous, apricot fills the palate and apple comes forth on the lingering off dry finish. 16/20. 14.5% alc. 14Nov2008.

Benson Block Gisborne Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Just off dry with succulent sweet citrus and spicy pear fruit and a smooth, almost creamy texture. There's a nutty complexity and a hint of ginger to the tangy finish. Spicy and fresh and can take serious chilling. 17/20. 13% alc. $16.95. 9Jan2009.

Bilancia Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Perfumed with freshly made macadamia nut shortbread and spices, it is spicy and biscuity to the taste, perhaps some oak with creaming soda, vanilla and an infusion of zesty lime. Long in flavour and hinting of so much potential, it is one of those wines that will be better the day after opening. And it definitely is. The next day it is all apples and pears with a touch of sweetness, textural richness and an oriental spice zing to the finish. Rich, concentrated, spicy. Very good. 14% alc. $22. 13Aug2009.

Bilancia Hawkes Bay Reserve Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A lustrous clear gold colour with aromas of yellow fruits, loquats, peaches, pineapple and melon coming to mind. It's quite tropical yet the there are subtle nut nuances too. A rich mouthfilling wine, almost unctuous with its rippling oily texture and fleshiness. The fruit from the bouquet follows through to the palate where the creaminess of lees aging and an intriguing spiciness and a touch of flower musk comes through. Lovely balance, mouthfeel, and despite the lusciousness, it finishes nutty and dry. 14.5% alc. $34.00. 28Jul2012.

Blackenbrook Nelson Reserve Pinot Gris 2008 (D) A rich, powerful, full-bodied style with a touch of sweetness, there are pears to the fore on the nose and the palate is filled with apple strudel, spices and cream with a touch of vanilla and stonefruit. Made in an Alsace style, it has textural richness and mouthfilling lusciousness. 15 g/l residual sugar. 15% alc. $31.99. 1Oct2008.

Boreham Wood Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Pale straw colour. Pears on the nose with a subtle nuance of cultivated white mushroom and a hint of flower musk. Quite zesty to the taste with plenty of spiced green apple fruit over a steely backbone with a touch of sweetness of the finish. It's a little different from many New Zealand Pinot Gris as it is quite high toned and phenolic and gives an impression of a 'grigio' (Italian) style. Becomes more and more interesting with time. 16/20. 13.5% alc. $30. 10May2009.

Boundary Vineyards Waipara Paper Lane Waipara Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A little neutral on the nose when first opened, after time in the glass it becomes floral and musky with ripe pear fruit. Fleshy in the palate from the outset with varietally correct apple and juicy pear with a touch of spice. Moderate acidity and just the right amount of sweetness too. A very palatable Pinot Gris. Works well with a crumbed pork schnitzel served with a stewed apple sauce infused with crushed fennel seeds. 17/20. 26Mar2009.

Brightside Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Perfumed and floral, it's a little nutty with a hint of flower musk on the nose. In the palate a momentary sweetness is taken over by the crisp phenolic backbone that really drives the wine. Spicy with a tickle of ginger and a lovely tang of orange zest enlivening the pear and subtle stonefruit flavours with a slight sage-like herbaceous edge. Label says 'off dry' and while it has fruit sweetness, the well-balanced acidity and phenolic undercurrent ensures it is never cloying. 14% alc. $18. 3Apr2009.

Camshorn Waipara Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Subtle but clean aromas with hints of pear and spice - quite classic. Lifted and spicy to the taste with bright, zesty, citrussy character full of juicy lime, it is also quite floral with pear, peach and fleshy tropical fruit (mango). Tastes as we expect good NZ PG to taste with a vanilla note coming through and a long spicy finish. Top wine of the regional tasting. Classic Pinot Gris - just lacks a bit of oomph but has a long spicy finish.17.5/20. 14Nov2008.
A day in the bottle and chilling elevates the score to gold medal standard. When chilled it still has an evocative fresh fruity aroma and a bright juicy flavour with an underpinning of lime, a hint of green melon, a luscious texture and all the time it's driven by underlying acidity. 18.5/20. 15Nov2008.

Cape Campbell Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Vibrant spice scent with a touch of creaming soda. Soft creamy palate with zesty citrus, pear and apple fruit. Well balanced acidity, fleshy texture, a touch of vanilla and a sweet citrussy flavour coming through to linger on the finish. Chilling adds a cool refreshing finish. Tastes like Pinot Gris and doesn't try to be anything else. 17.5/20. 16Nov 2008.

Corazon Single Vineyard Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A slightly smoky yet bright and fruity wine with tropical fruit, quince and pear flavours. Partial barrel ferment in seasoned oak barrels adds softness to the texture without adding overpowering woody flavours and there's a hint of butterscotch on the rich, creamy finish that melds with the fruit and lingers beautifully. A rose petal character emerges with time. 13.6% alc. $22.50. 17Jul2010.

Dry River Martinborough Pinot Gris 2008 (c) Light yellow gold coloured. Slightly neutral and earthy smelling when first opened later an emerging floral scent. The next day, however, it had an evocative perfume of spice biscuits, lemon honey and quince jam. Initially straight up and down Pinot Gris fruit flavours of apple and pear with that earthiness detected on the nose, it brightens up with a hint of pineapple sage and comes totally alive as it surges with zesty spices and fills out with a stonefruit fleshiness. A wine that seems more and more juicy with every mouthful. 13.5% alc. $48. 13Aug2009.

Gladstone 12000 Miles Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Fruity smelling and lots of fruit - that fruitiness - apple, pear and very juicy peach carries though to the palate. Some phenolics coming through to underlie the fruit and the wine finishes with a citrussy twist. An excellent match to pan-fried fillet of salmon. 13.8% alc. $23. 29Jun2009.

Gladstone Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) This pinot Gris is quite dry but it is bright and tasty with textural richness . It's straw gold in colour with a hint of lime. A 'classic' Pinot Gris with apples, pears, spice, texture, richness and mouthfilling length. A beautiful, rich interpretation and very well made. 14% alc. $29. 7Aug2009.

Goldridge Premium Reserve Matakana Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Rich bright gold. Aromas of pears with a slight hint of sweet cultivated button mushroom giving it an earthy undercurrent, it has an initial lemon honey-like zing on the front of the palate. A unusually dry style with well-balanced fruit sweetness (reminiscent of the peach and brandy conserve), there's a spicy, zesty zing to the finish and apricot conserve on the lingering aftertaste. Good length for PG. 13% alc. $20. 23Apr2009.

Hawkshead Central Otago Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A rich smelling Pinot Gris with a hint of flower-musk to the scent and green passionfruit in the palate which has softness despite an edgy citrussy undercurrent with a touch of tropical guava adding a fascination to the finish. GibbstonValley fruit. 13.5% alc. $29. 5Sep2008.

Huntaway Gisborne Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light yellow gold. Gently perfumed with citrus, pear and a hint of melon and though quite gentle in its attack, this is immmediately bright and juicy to the taste with lots of luscious stonefruit and ripe pear flavours with a hint of rose petal and a tingle of zesty spices. Clean, refreshing, seemngly quite dry and full of flavour. 17.5/20. 13% alc, $22.95. 10May2009.

Lamont Central Otago Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light yellow gold in colour, this is so youthful and fresh with smoke, flint, apple and pear aromas and stewed apple, strudel spices and stonefruit-like nuances to the flavours. The acids are gentle, there's a hint of bubblegum-like esters and although dry in character, it has impressive fruit sweetness that supports the lasting finish. 14.5% alc. $24.99. 11Mar2009.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Richly perfumed with tropical fruit underpinned by a mellow funky aroma that indicates there's a touch of barrel and wild yeast going on here - a little reminiscent of alternative Sauv Blanc. This palate is rich and full-bodied with ripe stonefruit, an earthy gravelly undercurrent, hints of peppery spice and a touch of pineapple sage. Mouthfilling, rich, delicious and long. Do not over chill as it accentuates winemaking characters over the fruit. Top wine of the Marlborough flight and tasted unchilled I rate it 18.5/20. 14% alc. $25.95. 15Nov2008.

Man O' War Ponui Island Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light golden hue. Quite bready aromas. Crisp, racy acidity with lemon, lime and tangelo zest. Warm and heady with a lightly viscous texture. Lovely mouthful. A bright wine with textural richness. Potential plus from a fantastic vintage on the Hauraki Gulf islands. This is the 3rd vintage of the Ponui Island Gris. Tasted from a tank sample. $28. 26Oct2008.

Margrain Martinborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Full rich aromatics with pear, peach and sherbet adding to the beautifully enticing perfume, this bone-dry wine has lovely lemony tones, white peach and gingerbread biscuit spice with the lemony fruit sweetness infusing the finish. 18.5/20. $30. 13.5% alc. 14Oct2008.

Marsden Estate Bay of Islands Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Pale coloured. Pretty aromatics. Clean, rich, spicy style - quite nutty with hints of apricot and spice and a creamy bready backbone. A sweeter style perhaps, a little sugary tasting and finish a flavour reminiscent of candied fennel. 13.5% alc. $27. 13Aug2009.

Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Straw gold coloured, Savoury and a little smoky on the nose and initially quite neutral scented in the fruit department but soon reveals ripe apple and pear. Immediately spicy to the taste - a high-toned wine with juicy apple and pear-like fruit infused with tangelo juice and zest and a slightly musk-infused finish that is dry, clean and bright. There's 50% barrel fermentation in old French oak but the oak is neutral in flavour just adding to the overall textural complexity and fullness of the wine. 14.5% alc. $40. 28Apr2009.

Matakana Estate Matakana Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Quite a deep colour for its age. Mealy, yeast derived and subtle oak aromas give the impression of a well-worked wine. This is a rich, full-bodied style with a spicy edge. Fruit has a tropical overtone. Savoury mealy influences throughout and the finish is dry. Not the typical style of NZ Pinot Gris and it didn't work with the pan-fried salmon I matched it to. Scallops, as the label suggested, may have been better. 13.5% alc. $27. 29Jun2009.

Matua Valley Shingle Peak Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Straw gold in colour with fragrant fruity aromas and delicious fruit salad flavours. Plenty of flavour as well as texture. Stonefruit, apricot, quince and orange zest combine in a just off-dry style. This is a luscious, fruity and very delicious Pinot Gris with a spicy aura that is reminiscent of a light gewurztraminer. 18.5/20. 14% alc. $21.95. 5Dec2008

Misha's Dress Circle Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Exuberantly youthful with an estery overlay to the apple and citrus scents and an oily richness to the texture, it is moderately sweet with vanilla and poached pear with a spiced apple finish becoming more floral as the chilled wine warms up with a hint of port wine magnolia (bubblegum) florals. A bit heady on its own but excellent as a food wine. 5g/l rs. 14.8% alc. $27. 18Nov2009.

Momo Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Palest lemon in colour with a lustrous sheen, this has an aromatic, zesty, fruit forward aroma with a lemon grass or lemon balm twist. Bright zesty flavours of apple and pear fill the palate with an undercurrent of sweet citrus and an almost pineapple tang. Lightly oily in texture with a long full finish and can be well chilled too. Some barrel ferment. 18/20. 14% alc. $22.95. 6Jan2009.

Mount Dottrel Central Otago Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Deeply scented, some oak interest, a little restrained at first but the perfume becomes complex and powerful with a more fragrant spicy bright edge as it opens up. Apple acidity grips the palate - it's a bit like a high acid Gewurztraminer as it has those perfumed floral and spice attributes too then lemon meringue and a honeyed finish with a topping of passionfruit. Once you get past the initial acidity, it's actually very very nice and finishes off dry and viscous with a long luscious finish. The juicy fruit intensity is heightened when the wine is chilled. 16/20. 14Nov2008.

Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Palest straw lemon in colour with sweetly perfumed, honeysuckle, lime and apple aromas that lead into a gently sweet palate with beautifully balanced acidity and a floral finish. 13.5% alc. $25.99. 23Jun2010.

Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Central Otago Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Pale coloured with a clear, bright lustre. Oily textured, perfumed, slightly high-toned and just off-dry with pear, apple, a hint of lime, some delicate florals and lots of tingly zest. Refreshing when even only lightly chilled. 10 g/L rs. 14% alc. $18.99. 7Jan2009.

Murdoch James Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Bit musty (honey perhaps) and quite leesy on the nose at first but later becomes apple / creamy / spicy. In the palate there are apple flavours every which way - red apple, green apple, stewed apple and baked apple. Steely yet soft with a delicate spiciness. When chilled there's a spritzy passionfruit and a green herb nose and pear and apple are to the fore on the palate with a creamy texture and a dry nutty finish. Chilling is recommended. 14/20. 14Nov2008. 14Nov2008.

Neudorf Maggies Block Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Lime gold in hue. Quite restrained on the nose but such a contrast in the palate, the warm, textural flavours are cut by zesty acidity with a spritzy tingle. Juicy up-front peach like fruit gives way to concentrated spice-infused pear. Reasonably dry with a lovely creamy fruit sweetness, delicate floral musk and good length. Previously known as 'Brigthwater'. 14.5% alc. $24. 30Apr2009.

Opawa Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) With almond paste and cherry essence on the nose, this straw coloured wine has confectionary aromas that carry through to the palate that initially seems sweet with flavours of overripe apples and pears but with it's steely undercurrent also seems dry. Despite the upfront confectionary impression, it finishes a little bitter as if you've bit into an apple with skins, pips and all. Not my favourite Pinot Gris. 13.5% alc. $22. 26May2009.

Passage Rock Waiheke Island Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Quite leesy, lemony, dried hay scents. Slightly viscous texture, mouthfilling warm and powerful to the taste with a perfumed character exotic fruit and spicy finish. But it seems overly sweet and there's a wacky, leesy character, which distracts. When chilled, the sweetness becomes more balanced and the texture a little more viscous.14.5/20. 14% alc. $23. 14Nov2008.

Rimu Grove Bronte Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A wine with richness and concentration, stonefruit and citrus. It is well balanced and juicy with soft but distinctive acidity, a touch of honey and an orange zest flourish to the finish. A very attractive wine with a lovely citrussy note throughout and delicate spice - I could imagine this with my chicken cooked with coriander, orange and honey -and the wine can also be well chilled. 18.20. 15Nov2008.

Rimu Grove Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A little more complex than its Bronte sibling, there's are some biscuity notes on the nose that carry through to the full-bodied, rounded palate that has quite a sensual texture. Fragrant and fruity with pear and apple, a hint of creme brulee topping, the pleasing flavours carry through for a pleasing aftertaste and with more time in the glass, florals emerge. Chilling adds a snappy refreshing crispness. 18.5/20. 15Nov2008.

Riverby Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A hint of creaming soda on the nose which then opens up to reveal tropical fruit and passionfruit. Brighter in the palate than the nose would suggest. Creamy texture with ripe juicy fruit, a touch of spice and juicy sweet citrus. A fairly neutral style when served at room temperature, this is best served chilled - it becomes a crisp, juicy refreshing drink with a little more lime on the nose and a dry finish. 16.5/20. 16Nov 2008.
Sweet earthy aromatics of freshly harvested button mushrooms with nuances of citrus, then surprisingly off dry to the taste, with almond / marzipan to the fore then fleshy nectarine and juicy sweet pears with a sweet citrus zest infusion to the lingering finish. Tasted at room temperature I thought the wine would benefit from a little chilling and it definitely did. There was a 'coolness' running through the wine and the fruit was crisp and crunchy. Chilling makes it a much more juicy and mouthwatering wine. 12.5% alc. 9g/l rs. $22. 9Oct2009.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Dull and earthy to start but later it’s jasminey and spicy - with freshly cut pear. Juicy pear and quince in the palate - dry spicy and tangy and despite the initial dullness of the aroma this is a complex medium to full-bodied Pinot Gris that packs a punch with its texture and flavour. This is why I sometime struggle with Pinot Gris when initially it doesn’t deliver on aroma at all. Delicate, fine, rich, powerful and long and of course the aroma is there later on. 13.5% alc. 5.27 g/l rs. $20. 13Aug2009.

Sapich Blush Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A pink, copper-tinged hue presents this wine that has concentred fruit flavours of stonefruit, pear and apples with a long, full finish and just a touch of spice. Takes chilling well. Oratia fruit, planted 2004, this is first crop. 13% alc. $12. 30Apr2009.

Selaks 'The Favourite' Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light yellow gold with virtually no nose compared to the previous wine – what you’d call 'neutral'. In the palate it's reminiscent of windfall apples on a warm autumn day, a sweeter style with an oily texture, a kicker of spice and a warm comforting finish. The wine gets bigger and bigger as it traverses the palate, garnering peach-like nuances, and the finish is long. 14% alc. $19.99. 25Mar2009.

Seresin Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light gold. Aromatic, juicy, nutty and delicately spicy. A juicy wine flushed with grapefruit and infused with smoke and subtle spicy oak - well lots of oak actually - it has a tom of power that pulsates through the bready leesy palate with apricot sweetness and a full-bodied nutty finish, Barrel fermented style and completely different. Biodynamic vitivulture. 14.5% alc. $28. 13Aug2009.

Shingle Peak Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) There’s an oily overlay to the nutty and delicately floral scent with the oiliness carrying through to the palate with flavours of flower musk, biscuit spices and abundant fruit salad of the pear and peaches kind. With its low to moderate acidity the attack is gentle while alcohol adds viscosity and warmth and the nutty character lingers on the lasting finish. Lots of flavour for the variety. 14% alc. $25.99. 21Jan2009.

Sileni Cellar Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light gold coloured. Savoury with a boiled lolly nuance to the fairly neutral, earthy aroma. That earthy character becomes a little mushroomy and carries though to the spicy palate that has upfront acid and zest. There's a mealy richness and an underlying creaminess that melds into baked apple and pear-like fruit with a light, floral musky character coming through and a ginger-like tingle to the expansive, ripe-fruited finish. The wine has had some barrel ferment. 16.5/20. 14% alc. $20.10May2009.

Soho Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 Pale straw in colour. Perfumed with pear, citrus zest, flower blossoms, freshly cut feijoa and a hint of handcream. Vibrant, spicy and zesty to the taste with loads of juicy fruit including apple, pear, feijoa, tropical guava, passionfruit and pineapple. Full-bodied, rich and quite oily textured, it is a powerful wine on its own and should be slightly chilled but is an excellent accompaniment to pork and sage, the savouriness of the sage balancing the fruit sweetness and let the underlying acidity sing. 17/20. 13.5% alc. 7g/l rs. $24.99. 22Aug2008.

Spinyback Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Slightly mealy, spice-infused pear and stonefruit aromas are rich but the wine is quite linear in palate with a steely undercurrent to the pip fruit flavours and apple the most dominant fruit character. Then suddenly an expansive aftertaste where apricot, tangelo-like citrus and Asian spices come out to play. Wasn't sure at first, but it's clean, well made, stylish and actually really good. 14.5% alc. $17. 20Apr2009.
Rich gold, no doubt due to the botrytis that I sense on the nose and amongst the flavours that are ripe and juicy and full of lemon, spice, grapefruit and apricot. It's smooth and creamy with perhaps some botrytis influence that adds a delicious honeyed sweetness to the finish. A delicious, easy-to-drink and easy-to-like style. 14.5% alc. $15.99. 9Dec2009.

Spy Valley Envoy Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light golden in colour and a scent that is enticing with its 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 17 grams per litre of residual sugar and the acid is low, but the wine tastes as is it is on the cusp of off dry. The sugar adds richness and textural lusciousness. 14% alc. 19/20. $28.90. 2Mar2009.

Spy Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Quite a deep gold for such a young wine. A slightly earthy nuance to the aroma with hits of botrytis and raisin. Sweetish and honeyed to the taste, some late harvested or botrytised grapes in here. Intense, full, ripe, creamy and quite delicious with underlying phenolics keep everything in check and an aftertaste that is all ripe fleshy peach. An oak fermented portion adds complexity. I really like this style. 14% alc. 10 g/l rs. $19.90. 13Aug2009.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Dry, a little herbal with a hint of spice. Just a touch of sweetness with a biscuity backbone and a sweet citrus finish. Overall I think this is a little boring and dull, maybe it is the savoury herbaceous which dominates the front to mid palate. 13% alc. $21.95. 3Feb2009.

Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) This is fresh and fruity with stonefruit and nectarines to the fore and a lovely savoury sweetness from the bready yeast lees. Unusually for Pinot Gris, it has a heady concentration - it seems to have the slightest hint of honeyed botrytis making it seem quite luscious. It's has simply delicious as a pre dinner drink or to accompany a main course of chicken or pork, or with dried fruit and creamy cheese. 13.5% alc. 11.5 g/l rs. $25.95. 7Aug2009.

Te Mania Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A little sherbety, spritzy, tingly and biscuity, this sweeter style is crammed with apple strudel, honey and gingery spice. It's a rich wine that builds and builds on the palate but finishes dry. Beautiful texture, beautiful wine and can be well chilled. 18.5/20. 15Nov2008.

The Ned Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Clear and pretty in appearance with a noticeably delicate pink blush to the hue. Gently aromatic, typical of Pinot Gris with its winey, pear drop scent. Quite rich in the palate even when tasted with food, but it does have a dry, zesty undercurrent. Full-bodied and powerful, on the ripe end of the Pinot Gris scale with hints of flower musk and spice. 17.5/20. 13.5% alc. 7g/l rs. $18.99. 22Aug2008.

Thornbury Waipara Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Pale straw lemon. Distinctive Pinot Gris aroma of pear and citrus. Soft, lightly spicy and just off dry with an oily texture to the apple, pear and sweet citrus flavours and plenty of ginger-like spice. Easy going with good length. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 4Feb2009.

Ti Point Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Quite dry and austere. Spritzy, unbalanced - steely. Apple driven. Apples every which way. 13.8% alc. 15/20. $21.90. 16Nov2008.

Tohu Nelson/Gisborne Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) A little like plasticine on the nose – earthy with a inflection, but in the palate it's more floral than the nose would suggest. Upfront citrus zest softens to reveal a slightly oily (phenolic) backbone. Moderate alcohol with a touch of residual sweetness and ripe juicy flavours reminiscent of juicy fruit chewing gun - the pretty florals longer on the finish. A lighter style with moderate length. 13% alc. $20. 20Apr2009.

Tussock Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Bright yellow gold. Shy aroma - hint of flint and a background of pear. Soft on entry with an initial citrus-like zesty spritz, alcohol adds richness and warmth. Delicately nutty and mealy with a concentrated stonefruit richness, the backbone is quite steely and green apple emerges on the finish to join the sherbet-like zest. Interesting wine with the warmth and viscosity cut by waves of steel and a richness to the lingering finish. 13.5% alc. $15. 30Apr2009.

Urlar Gladstone Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light lemon gold colour and a little Chardonnay-like on the nose with hints of oak and fresh peach scents. The Chardonnay feel carries through to the palate and I wonder if it is a barrel-fermented because a light creme brulee character comes through and the peach flavours are delicate and juicy fruit-sweet. There are nuances of spiced apples and pears on the finish, too, with a hint of smoky and spicy oak. A Pinot Gris for Chardonnay lovers, perhaps just a little hard on the finish, but otherwise great all-round appeal. Excellent length too. Very good wine made from grapes grown organically. 14% alc. 2 g/l rs. $28. 3Nov2009.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Pale lemon. A little fuller on the nose than the Thornbury, this is perfumed, floral and slightly musky. Lightly creamy in texture with citrus, subtle stone fruit, plenty of ripe pear and a hint of pineapple sage, it is on the medium edge of dry. 14% alc. $19.99. 4Feb2009.
Classic pear combines with flower musk with a cashew overtone - a hint of soap (eg cashmere bouquet) too. Seems a little sweet on entry but residual sugar is just off dry - it's the low acidity that makes the wine seem sweeter than it actually is. A gorgeous Pinot Gris, it's packed with pear, apple strudel, creamed nut and rose petal flavours, I'm picking some anise spice sweetness (anise is actually sweet) then there's a touch of savouriness to the finish that is gentle and long. 6g/l rs. 14% alc. 20May2009.

Waimea Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Quite deep gold. Aromas of spice and cirtus and rich and spicy in the palate with orange rind-infused tropical fruit, nectarine and pear popping out the end. This is beautifully rounded and full in the palate with a rich, smooth texture and underlying grapefruit and mealy yeast lees. Creamy and nutty with luscious sweet fruit, yet it finishes dry. A voluptuous mouthfilling style with a concentrated frutiness and great length - becoming a little bready as it lingers. 14.5% alc. $22. 30Apr2009.
Rich citrine yellow. Hints of apricot on the nose suggest botrytis, even more so in the palate. A medium sweet wine with honey, citrus and spice filling the palate and a touch of mandarin juice-like acidity to balance the juicy pear sweetness. When chilled it seems remarkably Alsace in style. 14.5% alc. $15.99. 3Feb2010.

Waipara Hills Southern Cross Selection Waipara Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light straw gold in colour, this is sweetly perfumed with tropical fruit, citrus, and essence of pear. A firm, phenolic backbone balances the slightly confectionary, bubblegum, biscuity flavours with stone fruit, a touch of flower blossom and gingery spices. Overall a gentle Pinot Gris with savoury nuances to the lingering finish. 13.5% alc. $25.99. 11Mar2009.

Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Pale straw coloured with intense Riesling-like citrus and honeysuckle aromatics and Gewurztraminer-like musky spices in the palate. Quite earthy/pithy with a steely undercurrent at first, it has a soft mid palate with a moderate oiliness to the texture, concentrated pear and baked apple fruit, hints of strudel spices and a finish that is dry. 13% alc. $19.99. 22Apr2009.
Spicy on the nose with concentrated citrus zest and pear and dry, rich and textural to the taste or so it seems until the quince and tropical fruit explode with their fruity concentration and power. The lingering finish is dry, spicy and long. 14% alc. $19.99. 7Oct2009.

Wild South Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Light gold hue. A steely edge to the classic pear and apple scent. Quite tongue tingling on entry with a vibrant acid-driven palate - sweet citrus, apple, a touch of honey perhaps and nuts. A sweeter style with a touch of botrytis and a full, ripe, apricot and stonefruit finish. When chilled it is rich and textural with a lovely tangelo not to the classes pear and apple fruit and an earthiness to the finish. Juicy, bright and refreshing. 13.5% alc. 17/20. $18.90. 16Nov2008.

Woollaston Nelson Pinot Gris 2008 (sc) Showing some gold glints to the hue. At first the earthy scents are not particularly generous - a hint of sherbet perhaps. In the palate it's quite spicy and spritzy with fruit in the apple, paw paw spectrum evolving to reveal with pear, more apple and sweet fruit notes. Weighty and rich and full of flavour with excellent mouthfilling length, it has some class. Off dry and a little honeyed, the acidity balances the concentrated fruit and adds a zesty flourish. 17/20. This wine is a perfect candidate for chilling - it adds juicy sweet citrus and a touch of ginger and becomes moreish and yum. 18/20. 15Nov 2008.
Shy on the nose but full of flavour in the warm rounded palate with a toasty richness from the subtle use of oak together with tropical fruit, hints of orange zest, baked apple, a touch of pineapple sage and a stonefruit sweetness to the persistent finish. An easy to like style.. 13.5% alc. $16.99. 5Aug2009.

2007 Vintage [top] [index]

8 Ranges Central Otago Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Aromatic and floral with musk and a lemony overtone. Warm, slightly sweetish, but with a steely backbone and a crisp finish with a touch of zest on the lingering finish and a leesy aftertaste. 13% alc. $28.95. 15Aug2008.

Bilancia Pinot Grigio 2007 - Hawkes Bay Aromatically fruity with stone fruit hinting towards apricot, it's crisp, dry and noticeably weightier, perhaps because of the higher alcohol that adds extra heat to the warm, spicy finish. It's firm and full with a nutty complexity, a touch of citrus, a nuance of candied fennel seed, musky pear and a white peach finish. 14% alc. $29.99. 9Jan2008.

Bilancia Reserve Hawkes Bay Pinot Grigio 2007 (sc) Smoky aromas, hints of bacon perhaps and a hint of melon. The aromas belie the power of the palate. Sweet ripe fruit - green melon, a touch of honey, summer herbs, peaches and cream. Lovely honeyed dry style with oak adding complexity and intrigue and oak spice lingering. Very impressive, especially as the flavours linger. 14.5% alc. $28. 13Aug2009.

Blackenbrook Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) When first opened, orange rind/zest aromas give a vibrant citrussy waft of perfumed air that carries through to the bright, vibrant, zesty palate that's full of apple and citrus fruit. Give it time and it becomes rounded and creamy with a spicy undercurrent to the fleshy stonefruit flavours. It's rich in texture with a citrussy verve and incredible length that just lasts and lasts. It blossoms beautifully with decanting and time in the bottle. 14.5% alc. $25.90. 25Nov2007.

Brunton Road Gisborne Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) A little neutral on the nose, oily textured with green apple and just ripe pear the dominant fruit, there's a slightly herbaceous (pineapple sage) undercurrent and a dry, steely finish. First crop fruit. 13% alc. 2Sep2007.
This is lovely crisp Pinot Gris - vibrant and lively with a sweet citrussy infusion to the crunchy pear fruit. It’s quite floral with a little hint of musk and an underlay of zesty spice. Seems quite dry but the fruit is ripe and sweet and there‘s a touch of viscosity to the texture. Balanced, bright and clean with a twist of citrus and a touch of sage on the fruity finish. Very good. Rated 18.5. 13% alc. $25. 15May2008.

Church Road Cuve Series Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Some wacky oak thing going on in this wine - wheaty, leesy - Pinot Gris for beer drinkers. Toffeeish with exotic fruit. Different. So left field. Needs chilling. Better a day after opening. 15/20. 14.5% ac. $27. 15Nov2008.

Clayridge Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Fragrant with a hint of nutty, smoky oak, this rich, fat wine exudes toasty florals while there's a raisin bread influence to the taste and a bright citrussy flare to the broad, expansive, orange blossom finish. Partial wild yeast fermentation with aging on lees in French oak has added the textural complexities. Right now it just needs a little more time. 13.5% alc. 2Sep2007.
On first opening, vanillin oak dominates and although the aromas are infused with sweet florals and it is rich and rounded to the taste, with its oak and mealy richness and savoury barrel-ferment characters, it really came across as rather chardonnay-like. But take it out of the comparative tasting context, put a glass in front of you on its own with food to follow, this wine just totally seduces. With a little time in the opened bottle, it becomes lithe and graceful, creamy and soft with a clean, limey seam, a hint of apricot and delicate honeyed spices while the creamy oak and now more obvious wild yeast characters playing a perfectly poised background role. Light, lifted and pure yet still with power and impression. Dry. 13.5% alc. $24. 25Nov2007.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Very pale straw. Quite classical pear drop scents with a touch of musky perfume and pear flavours that are rich in the palate together with apple and peach and a bright, spicy mid-palate with some viscosity. It finishes dry with banana and tropical fruit on the long, lingering aftertaste that re-emphasises the initial gentle sweetness. 13% alc. $Screwcap. $30.99. 23Jul2008.
Light gold coloured. On the nose there's a momentary suggestion from the scent that this could be Chardonnay but it's the subtle oak that adds complexity to this full-bodied Pinot Gris. Fruity, juicy and just a little steely, this is initially bright and fresh with a touch of sherbet, passionfruit, lime and pear then becomes quite rich and mealy on the fruity finish. This was quite universally liked by tasters on the night. 13% alc. $34.99. 17Jun2009.

Coopers Creek Huapai Gisborne Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) The palest of lemons hues with a delicate scent, there's a dry, citrussy tang to the lightly oily and smooth, creamy apple and pear flavours. A hint of anise, like an infusion of Thai basil, adds an exotic intrigue to the bright persistent finish. Medium bodied but lots of flesh and excellent food wine. 13% alc. 7.3g/l rs. $14. 13Oct2007.

Coopers Creek SV 'The Pointer' Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Perfumed and full-bodied, it's delicately floral with hints of peardrop and deliciously spicy with flower musk adding to the richness of the apple, pear and apricot fruit. A touch of tangelo zest adds a zesty tang and the finish is fleshy and full. Aging on yeast lees has added texture as well as a mealy infusion to the flavour. Very tasty with excellent length. 13.5% alc. 5.7g/l rs. $23.13Oct2007.

Corbans Private Bin Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Golden coloured. Not revealing too much on nose, or in the palate, to start. It's a full, rich, textural style perhaps because it is fermented in old oak. Dry, nutty flavours give way to more sweet and luscious flavours of ripe pear infused with flower musk and lemon-flavoured Turkish Delight, then a herbal / lemon grass twist and a crisp steeliness to the finish. I wonder if a touch of Gewurztraminer in included in the blend. 13.5% alc. $23.95. 26May2009.

Distant Land Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) There's classic pear on the nose with hints of creaming soda and rich, spicy flavours with an earthy, subtle lemongrass note. Crisp, fresh and steely to start with increasing textural richness, a touch of sherbet, tropical fruit and ripe pear sweetness, it's bright and pretty and never overpowering. A floral muskiness, a tangelo zestiness and ripe juicy peach join in with time. 16% matured in old oak barrels, adding complexity and richness without affecting the flavour. Very stylish. 13.5% alc. $20. 25Nov2007.

Dry River Martinborough Pinot Gris 2007 (c) Lightest of citrine gold in the glass with a glassy lustre. Immediately fragrant and floral with musk, spice and nut bread. Lightly viscous in texture with alcoholic warmth, ripe fresh pear, baked apple and a squeeze of orange. Moderate sweetness balanced by a zesty spiciness and a nutty savouriness with the floral muskiness on the nose enveloping the finish. Rich and textural yet light and ethereal with an impression of dryness and simply amazing length. 13.5% alc. $48. 4Mar2008.
Light yellow gold. Immediately sweet fruit scents of pears and honey suckle with an earthy note - like potter's clay. Overall a juicy, ripe and delicately spicy scent. Very sweet in the palate - a touch of botrytis perhaps - and a lovely full rich spicy finish with a lemon honey overlay. Leaves an impression of juicy fruit in the mouth that lingers for ages. Hard to fault at any level. 19/20. 13.5% alc. 14Oct2008.

Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Gris 2007 (D) Quite Chardonnay-like but with a sweeter fruit profile with florals and apricot and pear overtones and a delicate spicy strudel character to the bright creamy finish. Served slightly chilled, the smoky oak dominates the aromas and the oak shows its sweetness in the front of the palate. Savoury nuances emerge on the long finish. About 60% of this wine saw oak. 5 g/l rs. 14% alc. $27. 14Oct2008.

Esk Valley Black Label Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Obvious varietal aromas of apple, pear and citrus followed by bright flavours in the palate that, as well as apple and pear, has hints of pineapple and orange zest. A smidgen of rose petal muskiness adds a lovely richness and Alsace-like nuance to the focussed fruit and a balanced sweetness to the long creamy finish. There's a slightly pear-like graininess to the texture which adds to its appeal and wild yeasts and old oak barrel aging add complexity without distracting. Excellent. 14% alc. 15 g/l rs. 14Aug2007.

Framingham Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light gold. Quite neutral and not really smelling of anything at first except mellow yeasty nutty characters with a tinge of herbaceous / unripe plum to the scent. But the palate is bright and fruity and peachy with an upfront apple bite that morphs into stewed pear and fresh lychee on the lingering finish. Perhaps a touch of violet florals and just a touch of sweetness - more so when tasted with roast chicken. 14% alc. $26.95. 15Jul2008.

Gibbston Valley La Dulcinee Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light bright gold with an ever so slightly pink tinge to the hue - just a tiny tiny tinge. The aromas are reminiscent of apples and pears together with nuts, lemon blossom and a touch of honeysuckle - a complex aromatic profile in many respects and has you swinging between a weighty riesling and pinot gris. The palate is weighty and full yet it has a crispness and linearity throughout and finishes with a citrussy sweetness together with a touch of cherimoya exoticness and a ton of citrus zest and apple and a delicate biscuity, lemon honey richness to the lingering aftertaste. It is crisp, fresh, refreshing and texturally full, rounded and pleasing - a beautiful expression of Central Otago, single vineyard, pinot gris. 18.5/20. 14.5% alc. 16g/l rs. $45. 7Aug2008.

Greystone Waipara Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Delicately scented with hints of rose petal, pear and melon. Off dry to the taste with hints of musk, lime sherbet and flowers and classic pear flavours, freshly stewed with a little butter and cloves. Ever so slightly viscous in its oily texture, which gives it gorgeous mouthfeel, it has body and presence and leaves a beautiful, almost creamy flavour with tropical fruit lingering long after the wine is swallowed. 14% alc. 10.5 g/l rs. $24. 19Oct2007.

Hans Herzog Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (D) Pinky-tinged gold in colour with green grape and ripe apple scents that carry through to the palate that's lightly oily in texture. A very dry wine with a little bit of underlying spice and a warm finish, perhaps a touch of oak and lees stirring to add richness. Made in a European style to go with food- Herzog recommends seafood and antipasto. 14% alc. $42.99. 29Jul2009.

Huia Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) A dry, crisp, almost steely Pinot Gris with an underlying lusciousness and classically varietal flavours of pears and apples that build to a long, creamy and lightly spicy finish. A delicious dry wine with even more spicy opulence on the lingering aftertaste.13.5% alc. $27. 9Oct2007.

Hyperion 'Phoebe' Matakana Pinot Gris 2007 (D) On first tasting this wine emits a plasticine aroma with absolutely no fruit character and tastes grainy, lemony and alcoholic with a hot, confectionary, lolly-like finish. But the next day this has evolved into quite a rich Pinot Grigio style with pear, sherbet, spice and a touch of pineapple with a steely lemony undercurrent. It is a wine to be decanted on opening for best results. 14%alc. $25. 21Jan2008.

Isabel Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Continuing the trend of the super 2007 vintage, this is fresh, bright spicy and slightly spritzy with zesty lime-infused, orange water scents. A little more complex and grown up with a day in the bottle, the spritziness has gone but the juicy pear fruit and zesty citrus are still there to balance the savoury nutty backbone. It's quite a 'classic' pinot gris - full of pear, quince and spice with a slightly grainy texture and mouthfilling warmth to the finish. 7g/l rs. 13% alc. $20. 5Mar2008.

Johanneshof 'Medium' Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (D) Opulently scented and richly flavoured, this sweeter of the two Johanneshof Pinot Gris wines is perfectly balanced and focussed. It's vibrant and fruity with a lightly oily texture, passionfruit, honey, apricot and the lasting baked apple and musky spiced flavour has elegance and power. Chill it down to subdue the opulent sweetness and enhance the classically varietal pear-like fruit. Total class. 13% alc. $25.99. 26Sep2007.
The immediate impression of this more yellow gold coloured wine is class. A little Alsace-like in character and though medium in its sweetness classification, it is so well balanced and tastes just delicious. Phenolics and a dry, nutty backbone balance the smooth texture and the beautifully lush pear and peach fruit that's overlaid with a lemon herb-scented honey and a heady, orange water and musk-scented finish that just lasts and lasts. 13% alc. $25.99. 19Mar2008.

Johanneshof Marlborough Trocken/Dry Pinot Gris 2007 (D) Light lemon gold with pears and stewed apple on the nose and a bright spicy palate with juicy apple flavours, a hint of rose musk and orange zest. Full-bodied with a gorgeous slippery texture and a mouth warming finish, it's fragrantly spiced - a little like Gewurztraminer on the finish - and the aftertaste is lasting and long. 13.5% alc. $28.99. 19Sep2007.

Kaimira Brightwater Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) The bouquet is apricot - it smells dry yet it also hints of honey with a bready leesy undertone. That impression carries through to the rich, juicy palate. Alcohol adds heat and spice, adding to the overall richness and the fruit has a luscious factor too. Concentrated pear lingers on the finish together with a mealiness and spice. I wonder if it has a touch of oak, but this is not so. 14.9% alc. $20. 30Apr2009.

Koura Bay Sharkstooth Awatere Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Quite a bright fat style plenty of palate weight, musky spices and rose petal, it seems quite dry but the fruit is ripe and juicy. There's crunchy pear with hints of stonefruit while citrus blossom and honey suckle add a lovely floral brightness to the lingering finish. Delicious. 13% alc. 2Sep2007.
A beautifully fresh and vibrant wine with tantalising floral aromas and a light touch to the palate with juicy pear and subtle spice. Served chilled, stewed apples and pears are to the fore, the texture is lightly oily and tangelo lingers on the finish. Awatere Valley fruit. 13% alc. $23.99. 19Sep2007.

Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Sophisticated and classy with weight and richness. Flowers, ripe pear and apricots tempt the nose and carry through to the rich, creamy, almost oily palate with musky spices and soft acidity. There's a bubblegum sweetness, a nutty richness and wonderful length. Despite the fruit sweetness, it seems quite dry. 20% of the wine was fermented in old oak which has added only texture, not flavour . 14% alc. 5.3g/l rs. 5.2g/l acidity. $23.95. 25Nov2007.

Margrain Martinborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Creamy and lightly toasty, the rich, caramelised pear and nutty aromas carry through to the palate where baked apple flavours are more to the fore. Dry, textural, talcy and musky with a powerful, zesty and lingering tasty finish which is notable for its high acidity and tingliness, it's very tight in its youth with a gravelly undercurrent. Excellent persistent of flavour with the pear and apple fruit joined by fragrant fleshy peach, honeysuckle and gingery spice. A bone dry wine that is obviously made to age, and it should do so with flair. 14.5% alc. 7.5g/l TA. $30. 25Nov2007.

Marsden Estate Bay of Islands Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) A creamy, leesy, nutty wine with green apple the dominant but very subtle fruit, it has that typically 'neutral' character that consumers love. But it is only 'neutral' to start and gently expands with flavour on the palate where delicate 'just ripe' pear, hints of florals and a touch of lemon join the apple and almonds while loads of strudel spices dance on the persistently juicy finish. Because it is initially shy, decanting is recommended to coax out the flavours. 13.5% alc. $27. 25Nov2007.

Michael Ramon Matakana Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Creamy textured, zesty, and slightly spritzy on first opening. Slightly estery and seemingly quite dry with roundness and richness to the full-bodied texture, it delivers a lovely fruit complexity with the sweetness of tree-ripened apricot, a touch of apple and fresh ripe figs. There’s a lovely musky floral brightness to the finish with a nuance of five spice coming through too. Develops beautifully in the bottle. A gorgeous debut wine for this label. Tawharanui Peninsula fruit. 14.5% alc. 15Jun2008.

Moana Park Vineyard Selection Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Dry, aromatic and fragrant with pear the dominant aroma, the full-bodied palate of this tank fermented wine has a touch of lime running through it. Tank fermented, the initial steeliness gives way to a bright, fat, full finish. 13.7% alc. 2Sep2007.

Nautilus Estate Marlborough Pinot Gris 2006 (sc) A creamy wine with a pale straw gold colour and a lovely varietal presence. Pears, baked apples, a touch of ginger flower and a hint of citrus zest all add to the mouth-filling flavours that have a rich, ripe, full-bodied texture. There's a very subtle herb note, like spearmint in the distance- a pleasing note that adds an exotic character and doesn't detract. 14% alc. 6g/l rs. $29. 9Oct2007.

Ngatarawa Glazebrook Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Pale light gold in colour. When tasted straight off the ice, the wine is dry, steely and austere. When the chill has gone from the wine it has pear drop aromas and crisp apple flavours with a touch of zest on the finish and gingery spices. Dry. 5g/l rs. 13.5% alc. $22. 9Oct2007.

Omaha Bay Vineyard OBV Matakana Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Savoury and earthy with a yeasty flavour from the winemaking process running through the wine with underlying nuances of sweet citrus too. Reasonably full-bodied and textural, very dry and no obvious oak as in the previous vintage and finishes the classic 'pear' of Pinot Gris, together with warmth from the alcohol. Earthy in the sense that mushrooms and oysters are earthy and for that reason it works well with these foods. 16/20. 14% alc. $30. 2Aug2008.

Porter's Martinborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light scented, delicately musky and just a little nutty on the nose, it's full of crisp apple, pear and florals in the palate with an underlying savouriness and a touch of herbaceousness,. Quite dry and steely with a long rich finish, it has the indicators to me that it could age quite well. 12% alc. $35. 12Dec2007.

Pisa Range Estate Central Otago Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) From a vineyard in Pisa, north of Cromwell, this is distinctly Pinot Gris on the nose with pear drop, a hint of apricot and delicately floral and spice scents. Flower musk adds allure to the leesy, biscuity, creamy flavours that hint of creaming soda with underlying spice. This is a powerful wine with a 'juicy' factor that is just so more-ish on the crisp, dry finish. 14.5% alc. $27. 25Nov2007.

Richardson Central Otago Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light straw gold with a warm nutty aroma infused with pear drop and quince and a bright fresh attack on the palate with strudel spices, an earthy undercurrent, apple and pear fruit and rose petals. There's a crisp steely backbone but the 10% natural ferment in old barriques adds richness and mouthfeel to the just off-dry aftertaste. First crop fruit from a lakeside vineyard. 13.5% alc. $29.99. 22Oct2008.

Rimu Grove 'Bronte' Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Pears, hints of stonefruit and spice, with a touch of residual sugar adding lusciousness and an apple strudel finish. Lovely spicy complexity. Awatere Valley fruit. A pleasing accompaniment to baked chicken breast wrapped in bacon and infused with thyme. 13% alc. 2Sep2007.
There's a hint of honey on the nose and rich, sweetish flavours with hints of cherimoya (custard apple) amongst the ripe tropical fruit. It's lightly viscous in texture, clean, fruity and long with a spicy zest adding a vibrant flourish and balancing the sweetness on the finish. 13% alc. 10 g/l rs. 5.3 g/l TA. $28. 25Nov2007.

Rimu Grove Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Full-bodied, rich and textural with a gorgeous clean fruit expression of fleshy apricot and pear. It lacks a little on the nose, which makes it easy to pick as Pinot Gris because of its 'aroma neutrality' but it more than makes up for this with the taste, which is long and creamy with a musky overtone and a citrus zest brightness carrying the fruit salad finish. 13.5% alc. , 8 g/l rs. 6.6 g/l TA. $29. 25Nov2007.

Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Richly scented with a delicately musky, almost Gewurz-like perfume. Spicy to the taste and slightly grainy in texture with a lively zestiness to the juicy tropical fruit, ripe Nashi pear, red apple, passionfruit and a touch of nectarine adding to the fruit brightness. Powerful and just off dry with a touch of sweetness balanced by a squeeze of squeeze of lime and a touch of earthiness to the lingering finish. Excellent with mushroom risotto. A small portion was wild fermented in barrel. 9.5 g/l rs. 13.5% alc. $23. 15Jun2008.

Saint Clair Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Lightly chilled, this clear, pale wine is fragrantly perfumed with delicate floral scents and musky florals amongst the apple and juicy pear fruits. It's fairly dry yet soft and creamy with a warm strudel spiciness to the bright zesty lingering finish. 13.5% alc. $17.99. 12Dec2007.

Saint Clair Godfrey's Creek Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Perfumed and musky with fresh, crisp apple and Nashi pear fruit, even a touch of honey. There's a savoury nutty character to the undercurrent and sweetness to the finish. Juicy and very easy to like and drink. Partially fermented in old Fr oak barrels. 13.5% alc. 5.7g/l rs. $26.95. 14Dec2007.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 'Bull Block' Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Verging on an Alsace style with a lusciousness to the delicately oily and slightly nutty palate, it's fragrantly scented with pear and musk while the crunchy pip fruit is deliciously juicy. 13% alc. 24g/l rs. $25. 9Oct2007.
Made in what they call a 'Vendage Tardive' style' this is deep in colour for such a young wine. Its gorgeously fragrant, fruity, apricot-infused scent is sweet and honeyed and the lightly oily viscous textured, sweet-fruited pear and apricot flavours are mouthfilling and long. Ripe, rich and rounded with lovely fruit. 'Yum' from the outset. 13.5% alc. 14g/l rs. 5.9g/l acidity. $22.95. 25Nov2007.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Shy on the nose, dry and spicy in the palate with a slightly zesty backbone, it's spicy and richness with a creaminess to the texture and just a hint of herb or nutty yeast flavours adding a savoury bent. An excellent example of a dry style with talc and musk, rich ripe pear, tropical fruit and lovely freshness and vibrancy to the bright rounded finish. It creeps up on you and seduces you with it invisible power. 13.5% alc. $21. 25Nov2007.

Seifried Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) The delicate pinkest of hues, it's creamy, and musky smelling with pear drop and hints of peach. Quite oily and full-bodied in texture with ripe pear and peach fruit, hints of rose petal and orange blossom, underlying stewed apples, spice and a touch of honey, it's quite luscious but has an earthy savouriness to balance the sweetness and a nuance of cherry on the finish. Quite a fascinating wine with a tangy crispness to the lingering aftertaste. 13.5% alc. $21. 9Sep2007.

Southbank Estate East Coast Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Slightly pink tinge to the hue. Touch sweaty and savoury on the nose and slightly earthy in the sweetish palate with boiled lollies, wild strawberries, delicate spices and a hint of musk. Initially it seems dry but it finishes quite sweet and though quite sound, it just lacks excitement. 15.520. 13% alc. $21.99. 25Nov2007.

Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light yellow gold in colour with quite floral and delicately musky scents, this is an immediately richer and more obvious sweeter spicier style with lychee, pink smoker lolly, strawberry, orange peel and apple strudel-like spices. It has an oily warmth and because it's quite phenolic, there's also a hint of graininess and it gives an impression of finishing drier than it really is. 11.5 g/l residual sugar.13.5% alc. $23.99. 19Mar2008.

Spinyback Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) So typical of what I expect of straight up and down pinot gris - full of apple and pear fruit, just off dry, a touch of viscosity to the texture and honeysuckle and pineapple sage flower nectar adding an extra dimension of complexity to the flavour. Slightly grainy too - reminiscent of the texture of pear, well proportioned moderate-toned acidity but perhaps propped up by a sugar on the finish. Made by Waimea Estates. 5g/l rs. 14.5% alc. $17.90. 15Jun2008.

Spy Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light lemon gold, this sweeter wine has a richness of flavour. It's soft, rounded and full-bodied with juicy citrus and tropical fruit over an apple and pear backbone. It's delicately floral and creamy in texture and finishes with a spicy, lemon zest flourish. 13% alc. $19.99. 10Oct2007.
A texturally rich style with underlying acidity and fleshy tropical fruit. Full-bodied and mouthfilling yet it has a steely undercurrent to keep the wine on the straight and narrow with excellent length. 11g/l rs. 13.5%alc. $19.90. 21Jan2008.

Takatu Matakana Pinot Gris 2007 Made in a bone dry style, this has lovely fruit weight and concentration with a hint of rose petal, apple and pear fruit and a honeysuckle nuance to the steely finish. This exciting, very clean expression of the pinot gris grape is from low cropping vines and hence there is not much about. 13.5% alc. $33. 2Sep2007.

Te Mania Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Sweetish smelling and floral with hints of rose petal, musky flavours, pear and gingery spices, this would be best with a little chilling to bring out the acidity, thus perfect for summer. Think of an orchard of apples and pears of all types and degrees of ripeness and a suggestion of lemon grass to add a bit of a herbal twist to the full, warm, lingering finish. 13.5% alc. $19.95. 25Nov2007.

Ti Point Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Light yellow gold with a bright, zesty aroma hinting of sherbet and fleshy tropical fruit, this reasonably dry wine is clean, long and tasty with a lightly spicy, spritzy texture and a nutty, savoury undercurrent to balance the explosion of gorgeous ripe pear and stonefruit. Crisp, clean, juicy and delicious. 13.5% alc. $19.90. 25Nov2007.

Terrace Heights Estate Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Pale straw coloured, with sweet ctirussy aromas, this is fresh and bright with beautifully poised balance and flow. Juicy lemon and tangelo adds zestiness to the tropical fruit and stonefruit with an apple strudel spiciness to the creamy finish. It's delicately oily in texture with low acidity and just off dry. 13.5% alc. $20.99. 7Nov2007.
A bright straw gold wine scented with honeysuckle and lime blossom, it seems light and delicate to start but has focused lime and marmalade flavours with hints of peach and nuances of strudel spices. It's soft and rounded with a slightly oily texture and builds in palate weight to a warm finish with juicy citrus adding verve. Very, very good. 13.5% alc. $20.99. 19Mar2008.

Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Aromatic, full-bodied, this wine is subtle on attack but there's an emergence of power and weight in the palate. A little bready and musky with pear, hints of stonefruit, delicate spices and a citrussy sweetness to the finish, it's long, clean and rich. 14% alc. 2Sep2007.

Triplebank Awatere Pinot Gris 2007 - Marlborough (sc) Full of crunchy summer stone fruit, this fruity, flavoursome wine is medium-bodied with a nutty backbone, a touch of creaming soda, juicy apricot and tropical fruit and lots of characteristic ripe pear on the warm, spicy finish. Chilling brings out a burst of refreshing, bright acidity to balance. 13% alc. $19.99. 9Jan2008.

Two Rivers Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Aromatic, a little honeyed with a rich, spicy palate and a floral finish with a hint of musk, it's clean, full-bodied and satisfying. A fraction of Riesling in the blend adds to the aromatics and structure. 13.5% alc. 2Sep2007.

Vavasour Awatere Valley Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) A little steely and nutty on the nose but rich and full-bodied in the palate with subtle oak , lovely fresh acidity and spicy zest. Rounded and creamy with apples, pears and stonefruit, it's lightly grainy in texture and makes a very nice drink. 15% fermented in old French oak with wild yeasts. 14% alc. $24.50. 14Dec2007.

Tussock Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) There's a smoky note to the earthy, savoury aroma which gives way to ripe yellow fruit in the pawpaw, loquat, peach spectrum with a delicate citrus undercurrent. The second label of Woollaston Estate with fruit grown on the clays of the Upper Moutere, the wine has a pleasing touch of residual sugar (6.9 g/l) which places it on the cusp of dry to off dry. 14% alc. 17.5/20. $18. 21Jan2008.

Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Water pale, this deliciously varietal, just off dry Pinot Gris exudes classical pear drop aromas and lightly spicy, juicy apple and poached pear flavours. It’s subtle to start but builds in the lightly oily-texture palate to fill the mouth with flavour and softness and the finish is long and juicy with a touch of flower musk and a tinge of sweetness. The bargain buy in Pinot Gris this year. 14% alc. $14.99.26Sep2007.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylor’s Pass Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) More like pinot gris as we know it as we know it with its intrinsic pear character, this straw gold wine is has perfumed pear drop aromas and rich, oily, almost creamy flavours full of stewed pear and apple, laced with strudel spices and an earthy savouriness. Warm, ripe and rounded throughout, there is mandarin/lime acidity cutting through the fruit sweetness for a dry nutty well-balanced finish with power and length. Very smart. 14% alc. $26.99. 19Mar2008.
There's a hint of rose petal muskiness and spice to the pretty flavoured wine. Aromas are reminiscent of ripe red apples with a gentle infusion of orange water and delicate exotic spices. It's slightly nutty too. Bright and zesty in the palate, almost a fresh lemonade fruit sweetness with a touch of graininess to the texture and an earthy citrus depth to the finish. Beautifully balanced, light and long with softer acidity and a touch of toffee as it lingers. 17.5/20. 14% alc. 10.3g/Lrs. $30. 7Aug2008.

Waimea Bolitho SV Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) A little nutty and brooding with a lifted perfume and delicately honeyed scent. Very sweet, tending towards late harvest in style, it is luscious and mouthfilling with fruit flavours of juicy ripe pear and toffee-coated red apples. A seductive wine with good mouthfeel and excellent length, the sweetness well balanced throughout but could be restrained with a little chilling, which it really would need in the summer but perfect without chilling for the winter. 25g/l rs. 13.5% alc. $23.90. 15Jun2008.

Wairau River Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) Neutral and earthy on the nose and in the palate, it's dry, steely , crisp and delicately musky with a mushroom/ truffle earthiness, a suggestion of herb, then hints of candy floss. But while it seems slow to start, it expands amazingly in the palate in the nicest possible way and a minute later you are wondering where those incredibly rich and gorgeously tasty mouth filling flavours of pear, musk, nuts and lemon meringue came from. It came from this wine. It's oily and textural with a floral intrigue to the finish. Definitely a bit of a Jeckell and Hyde. An excellent matched to crumbed chicken and buttery mashed kumara. 13% alc. $25.95. 25Nov2007.

Wild South Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007(sc) Initially quite shy and delicately floral (musk and honeysuckle) on the nose, this light to medium-bodied, juicy pinot gris is not overly expressive to start - but it's clean and well-made with a pleasing light viscous texture, a creaming soda flourish, and warmth to the musk and cinnamon spices that linger. Leave it a while and the sweet juicy fruit is reminiscent of crunchy crisp nashi pear, melon, loquat and nectarine with hints of vanilla and citrus and the finish is long and pleasing. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 25Nov2007.

Wild South Reserve Pinot Gris 2007(sc) Initially quite shy on the nose, it smells delicately fruity and peachy with the slightest suggestion of honeycomb while in the palate the high-toned ripe pear and tropical fruit is underpinned by rich fleshy peach and the crisp, dry, lightly spicy finish is juicy, vibrant and long. It becomes richer and more savoury with time with a lovely nutty undercurrent and a funky savouriness (reminiscent of wild yeast). Medium-bodied, perfectly quenching on its own but great with the right food too. 14% alc. $26.90. 25Nov2007.

William Thomas Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 (D) Light golden hued, it's fairly neutral with savoury nuances on the nose but in the rich, smooth, creamed honeyed palate there's a silky graininess, lifted soft acidity, apples and nuts and a spicy zest. A dry wine with moderately sweet luscious fruit, lovely viscosity to the texture and more and more complexity with every sip you take. Aged in French barriques with lees stirring. 13.5% alc. $27.90. 14Dec2007.

Woollaston Estate Burkes Bank Neslon Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) With grapes sourced from the company's Burkes Bank vineyard on the gravelly soils of the Waimea Plains, this has clean, rich, fruity aromatics and is nicely rounded in the mouth with fruit salad, pear, apricot and perhaps even a hint of botrytis adding complexity to the mouthfilling flavours. It's a heady wine of length and power that is even better the following day with peach, delicate spice and a hint of honey. 14% alc. 3.9 g/l rs. 18.75/20. 21Jan2008.

Woollaston Tussock Nelson Pinot Gris 2007 (sc) There's a smoky note to the earthy, savoury aroma which gives way to ripe yellow fruit in the pawpaw, loquat, peach spectrum with a delicate citrus undercurrent. The second label of Woollaston Estate with fruit grown on the clays of the Upper Moutere, the wine has a pleasing touch of residual sugar (6.9 g/l) which places it on the cusp of dry to off dry. 14% alc. $18. 21Jan2008.

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Index to Varietal Tastings
Chardonnay Gewurztraminer
Riesling
Pinot Gris Sauvignon Blanc Other Whites
Bubblies Sweeties Pinks
Cabernet dominant Merlot dominant Pinotage
Pinot Noir Shiraz Other Reds

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