Pinot Gris at Fresh Choice Nelson… What a selection! Here’s our wine expert, Neil Hodgson to tell you all about the excellent range we have in store… Over to you Neil!
Pinot Gris is one wine variety that frustrates me a little, it can be so easy that drinking it can be a bit boring but it can also be a delicious, complex wine.
Because Pinot Gris is a grape variety that can deliver very big crops it is tempting for wine producers to think of it as a cash crop; it is easy to make, has flavours that are appealing to a wide range of consumers, isn’t too acidic and because of the naturally high sugar it generally has quite high levels of alcohol, something that appeals to certain wine consumers.
However, these very things are also the reasons that Pinot Gris can be a bit boring; if it is cropped too heavily the flavours are washed out, the lack of acidity in easy drinking style means it doesn’t have much character and the higher alcohol makes the wine taste quite hot.
But if the variety is treated as a serious wine, rather than a cash crop, then it can be a wonderful thing. If the vines aren’t over-cropped the flavours can be intensely fruity and if the fruit is harvested while it still has a little ripe acidity then the alcohol levels will be more in balance and the wine will have layers of flavour and complexity making it much more than just an easy drinking wine.
There are some outstanding Pinot Gris’ produced in Nelson and Fresh Choice, Nelson has a big range on the shelves. The Brightwater Vineyards 2015 Pinot gris is on promotion for $16.99, it won a Pure Gold medal at last year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards, is a wine that is packed with flavour and is in a different league to those boring versions.
Other well-made local versions that are worth spending your hard earned money on include the Aronui Pinot gris, Vista Wines 2014 Pinot Gris and organic versions from Richmond Plains and Mahana.