Browse Tag

pinot gris

Fromenteau loaf

Josmeyer 2001 Pinot Gris “Le Fromenteau” (Alsace) – Pristine and mineral-driven, fruited with crisp pear and ripe apple, and seasoned with just a bit of salt. (No, really…there’s a hint of salinity that I’ve never found in an Alsatian pinot gris, though it’s fairly common in certain coastal whites.) Neither fat nor aggressive. The finish is long, suggesting hints of the spice that will emerge with more age. While this is drinking well now, were I to own any I’d wait a while, because it’s still holding back, and because the crystalline minerality that’s slowly being revealed is a little more zirconium than diamond at the moment. (9/08)

A roll of the Eurydice

Scholium Project 2007 “Eurydice” Rocky Hill (California) – Pinot gris, according to the web site. I’ll take their word for it. All I can get out of this wine is wax and fat…and not the “fat” that critics use to suggest a lack of balancing acidity. No, I mean actual fat. Stale fat, too. But mostly, it smells and tastes of wax. This is a practical joke, right? Some sort of oenological funnin’? (12/08)

A Sonnenglanzing blow

[vineyard]Bott-Geyl 2001 Pinot Gris Sonnenglanz “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – Delicious. Very sweet pear, but full of the exotic aromatics and textures of a freshly-picked heirloom variety, rather than some rock-hard supermarket ball of blandness. Not all that spicy, but burnished in bronze and a measure of darkness and smoked obscurity (which is, in my experience, a signature of Sonnenglanz pinot gris). I’ve never been overly convinced by the ability of this grape from this site to age in a complexity-heightening way, so drinking it now might not be a bad idea. (12/08)

Fondation & empire

[vineyard]Josmeyer 2001 “1854 Fondation” Pinot Gris “Vieilles Vignes” (Alsace) – Steel-jacketed pear. Teutonic in construction and attitude, with a lot of ferric minerality…especially as the wine drifts away on a steel breeze. If there’s a quibble, it’s the usual one in Alsace: more sugar than the wine really needs. The wine’s likely to firm with age, so in the future this might not be as much of a problem. (12/08)

Chicken Cooper

Cooper Mountain 2001 “Estate” Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) – Juicy-fruity. Pear and light fennel, plus a bit of pollen-infused honey; the wine has a dry, mead-like texture that’s fairly interesting in a wine. Good acidity. Very approachable. (12/08)


Hiedler 2007 Weissburgunder “Maximum” (Kamptal) – Massive and ripe, yet despite the power and weight giving an impression of utter dryness (which impression may, for all I know, be false). An initially overwhelming avalanche of crushed bones is followed by mirrorball-faceted minerality, sparkling and pulsing. Decrescendos rapidly, but stunning while it lasts. The importer calls this “the best pinot blanc in the world.” It’s not – the finish needs to be longer for that – but it’s certainly in the top rank. (12/08)

Schrock to the system

[label]Schröck 2007 Weissburgunder (Austria) – White-out minerality, leaves, and…parsnips? That’s a new thing for me, at least in a wine. Soft and easy, with a finish much shorter than it should be. No “fruit” as such, but the bare, calcifying exoskeleton of a wine, which has a certain but limited appeal. (12/08)

Réserve judgment

Trimbach 2003 Pinot Gris “Réserve” (Alsace) – Not entirely insipid, but that’s about all that can be said. There’s very, very wan pear, and a bit of spare minerality, and an even more useless gesture in the direction of spice. Had I not seen the bottle, I’d think this was one of Hugel’s more insipid, mass-market products. Or Wolfberger. As a Trimbach – even from 2003 – it’s a failure, though I suppose a négociant can’t fail to release their core wines. Avoid. (10/08)

Pighin out

[vineyard]Pighin 2005 Grave Pinot Grigio (Friuli) – There’s an initial appeal of grapefruit and green grape, but the palate turns to plastic and paint, and there’s no temperature at which the wine can be improved. Not as insipid a drink as some mass-market pinot grigios, but rather painful nonetheless. (10/08)


[vineyard]White Hall 2006 Pinot Gris (Virginia) – Acrid and sweaty, with a stewed refuse aroma that never quite goes away. The dominant character is rotten, yet underripe, pear skin, and there’s some tonic and stem as well. No good, in case it isn’t obvious. (8/08)