January 28, 2013

Wild Over Pinot Gris

By In Food and Wine, Wine Notes
Finally I’ve joined the Wine Society. The application went in just before Christmas, the first order arriving not long after.

The reason for joining was simple; to get my grubby paws on a bottle or two of the Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, a wine that had proved such a highlight during the Naked Wines Australian jaunt last year.* There was stock when I initially logged in; just a few days later, yep, you guessed it they had sold out.

In compensation a Greywacke Pinot Gris was added to that virtual basket. An indulgence perhaps at £16 a bottle but on the basis of how delicious their Sauvignon was I concluded it might, just, be worth trying.

Greywacke Pinot Gris 2011 £16 Wine Society [Adegga / Snooth] In Sydney at least, the wines of New Zealand are viewed pretty much as ‘home grown’ and as ubiquitous as those actually vinified In Australia. Greywacke is the label of Kevin Judd one of Marlborough’s pioneer winemakers. His Pinot Gris is a single vineyard bottling offering a stunningly rich and textural wine with plenty of pear and peach flavours coupled with a creamy, apple drenched finish. Alcohol 14%.

If time and finances had allowed a trip out from Sydney, over the Blue Mountains, to the Central Ranges region of New South Wales would have been ideal. Here the wine producing regions of Orange and Mudgee lie. I mention this as a second superb New World Pinot Gris is made here.

Logan Weemala Pinot Gris, 2011, Orange, Australia [Adegga / Snooth] (Retail around £11.99) has a Silvereye bird perched on a (vineyard trellising?) wire on the front. These are the ‘scourge of the vineyard’ according to the rear label. Silvereye have fine taste it would seem. They are believed to have crossed over to New Zealand during a storm and although not native there they are a protected species. Its Maori name, Tauhou, means “stranger” or more literally, “new arrival”.

“Weemala is both an aboriginal word for ‘good view’ and the name of our vineyard in the central ranges of NSW. As the birds that live here can testify, it does have a bloody good view.”

To accompany either or both of these superb wines how about something equally as rich and delicious, a tart with more than a passing nod to Pinot Gris’s ‘homeland’ Alsace, in the shape of a Zewelwai Onion Tart.

*The Sauvignon sampled in Sydney was their Wild Ferment Sauvignon, an oaky version, and not the unoaked bottle listed by the Wine Society I since discover. Slurp list the Wild Sauvignon for £20.95.

Photo Gallery: Wild Over Pinot Gris

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Top :: Comments

  1. Michael January 30, 2013

    Having been in business in the catering industry in New Zealand and Australia for many years it is great(as a UK expat) to read your brilliant blog posts on the “New World” wines. Let’s hope they never become “old hat”!

    • Andrew Barrow January 30, 2013

      I must admit I’ve not really explored the New World that much, especially Australia and New Zealand. I very much doubt they will ever be ‘old hat’…


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