PLEASING THE CROWD While the public’s penchant for pinot gris persists, the panel is not so enamoured, writes JOHN SAKER.
NEW ZEALAND wine consumers’ great fondness for pinot gris continues. Sales of the varietal show no signs of taking a backward step and for many wineries, pinot gris has become their portfolio’s most reliable seller. This tasting attracted the usual crowded field (112 wines were tasted), as well as the usual low success rate.
There were no five star awards and just two entries received four and half stars. “I thought the 2016 wines were at best well made,” said panel chair John Belsham. “Too many of them lacked focus and concentration. A pleasing aspect were the number of wines that were drier and not leaning heavily on residual sugar, as in previous years. “ Cameron Douglas felt similarly: “The wines that excited me the most were those with notable texture and where the sugar was under control. The drier, fresher wines held my attention more.”
The riesling tasting panel also tasted this NZ pinot gris tasting
OUR TOP PINOT GRIS has both urgency and decorum, qualities that helped it stand out from the pack. It’s a bright, rich wine with an engaging textural lushness, what panel chair John Belsham described as
“creamy precision”. It’s dry in style, with apple and pear notes underscored with a fresh herbal seam. “It’s complete, with a lovely long finish,” noted Cameron Douglas.
A year in the bottle has given it added harmony and class. It’s a pinot gris you would happily pair with sushi or sashimi.