Pinot Grigio has acquired a bad name over the last few years – the popularity and mass commercialisation of the grape has resulted in the production of an alarming amount of of cheap, overly simplistic wines. These mass-produced wines, exported in bulk all over the world, fail to tap into the true potential of the grape.
Pinot Grigio (which, by the way, is the same grape as Pinot Gris) has so much more to offer.
That’s why it is a relief to find an example of Pinot Grigio that offers complexity and depth. I tried The Society’s Pinot Grigio 2011 a couple of days ago and, while unfortunately I drank it a year too late, it did not disappoint. It offered body and character, with fruit-forward notes of pear, citrus and green apple enhanced by a characteristically zesty finish. With no oak influence whatsoever, this wine was crisp and refreshing – perfect for the summer. Very flavourful indeed; a very decent, drinkable wine that I paired with a big plate of grilled calamari with a wedge of lemon. I bought this wine in February last year (I know – shame on me for waiting so long to drink it) at a very reasonable £7.75 – but I can imagine that if I had written this review a year earlier I’d be gushing about how great it was.
The Wine Society now sells a non-vintage version of this wine at £7.50 per bottle – I strongly suggest drinking it alongside grilled shellfish on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon. Don’t make the same mistake as I did – when you buy it, make sure you drink it within a few months. I’ve learned my lesson!
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The seller says:
Clean, rounded and fruity, this admirable, single-vineyard pinot grigio is made especially for The Wine Society by New Zealander Matt Thompson. The grapes come from a single vineyard in the Valpantena, a valley north-east of Verona. The cool breezes that flow down the valley from the Dolomites ensure the grapes ripen slowly and develop lifted varietal characters. Drink on its own, or with seafood, salads or light meats.