Plenty of choices for pinot gris fans

Pinot Gris is New Zealand's fourth-most planted variety and producer by volume, behind sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and chardonnay.

To put that into perspective though, the 20,953 tonnes harvested in 2019 are equivalent to only 7% of the volume of sauvignon blanc produced.

A growing amount of pinot gris is now blended with pinot noir to slake the thirst for the rising pinot rose category, but that still leaves plenty for all the pinot gris fans. Here are a few.

2018 Main Divide
North Cantebury
Pinot Gris

Price: $20.99
Rating: Excellent

Pear, gumdrops, a little struck match and burnt toast with a saline hint. 

Powerfully pear driven, just off-dry palate with hints of spice, gum and a whiff of salted caramel. 

Shows excellent richness yet also with freshness building as it opens up.

A sweet-fruited note hangs on the long finish.

Good bang for buck.

2018 Master of Ceremonies
Pinot Gris

Price: $18.99
Rating: Very good

Candied citrus peel, talcum, gum and stonefruit, adding straw & honey with aeration.

Subtle palate, relatively dry, initially somewhat inexpressive with a soapy nuance, yet this gains interest nicely in the glass showing good weight, depth and texture with bright lift on the close.

Some very easy drinking here.

2018 Riverby Estate
Pinot Gris

Price: $22
Rating: Very good

Bubble gum, wine gums, toast and honey, hard candy with time.

The palate is drier than the nose would suggest.

Ripe nectarine, citrus, barely ripe apricot with attractive oiliness: a little apricot kernel note adds chewiness.

There’s good texture and richness here, and this is in the slot to enjoy now.

2016 Main Divide
North Cantebury
Pinot Gris

Price: $20.99
Rating: Excellent

Rich and appealing nose of musk, toast and honey, with added interest from the botrytis influences. 

Palate is less sweet than you might expect sitting in the off-dry category.

Fascinating mix of stonefruit, honey and hops; the latter bringing an intriguing bittersweet note into play. 

An appealingly long finish.

2018 Misha’s Vineyard
Dress Circle
Central Otago
Pinot Gris

Price: $28
Rating: Excellent

Talcum and gum drops, stonefruit, a little smoker’s lolly, honey later as the nose swells.

Subtly expressed yet  appealing.

Rich and textural palate, just off-dry in style, retaining freshening acidity.

Good balance with nice fruit weight; creamy texture enlivened by a little apricot kernel chewiness.

2017 Te Muna Valley
The Falcon
Pinot Gris

Price: $19.99
Rating: Good to
very good

A subtle nose playing inthe sweet ‘n’ sour spectrum, rounding out with aeration.

Noticeably sweeter palate, creates a counterpoint to sweet ‘n’ sour notes: time sees this evolve to pear and boiled sweets.

Good acidity creates freshness.

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