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MWG July 17th tasting: Pinot Gris shoot-out

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Except for a pink singleton in the middle, the rest of the tasting was a series of two-bottle flights in which a New World wine was pitched against a similar and similarly priced Old World wine. First up were a couple of affordable Pinot Grises.

Pinot Gris 2012, Willamette Valley, Elk Cove Vineyards ($26.10, 11640011)
100% Pinot Gris from vines three to 27 years old grown in various northern Willamette Valley vineyards. Manually harvested, whole-cluster pressed. Fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vintrinsec.
Appealing nose of pear, chalk and wax. Fruity but not to excess, with bright acidity and a hint of residual sugar. A saline undercurrent threads into the long, dry finish. Pure and vibrant – an easy-drinker with no complexes. (Buy again? Sure.)

Alsace Pinot Gris 2012, Les Princes Abbés, Domaines Schlumberger ($22.85, 00913897)
100% Pinot Gris from estate grown grapes, mostly from the Schimberg lieu-dit. The grapes are manually harvested and pneumatically pressed. The must is clarified by settling, then fermented in large temperature-controlled barrels for one to four months. Maturation on the fine lees lasts six to eight months. 13.45% ABV. Quebec agent: Les Vins La Rochelle.
A more savoury nose: less fruity, more minerally, with hints of herbs and smoke. Smoother and drier on the palate, the texture slightly more viscous, the acid less bright. The wine’s weight notwithstanding, there’s not a lot of depth here. Clean, rainwatery finish. Not bad but, compared with the Elk Cove (not to mention Scheuller’s electrifying Pinot Grises), a bit of a wallflower. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Written by carswell

July 23, 2014 at 14:40

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