Hillinger Pinot Gris (Austria) – The Pinot Grigio/Gris grape is known as Grauburgunder in Austria, and this example from one of our favorite Austrian producers may catch you off guard with its complexity. A golden yellow color with an aroma reminiscent of exotic fruits and fresh nuts, with a fine honey aroma in the background, which is pleasantly reflected in the mouth along with crisp lemon/lime citrus, green apple fruit and a dash of gingery-jasmine spice.
Lone Birch Pinot Gris (Washington) - Airfield Estates is a family owned winery produces some of the best value wines in Washington's Yakima Valley under its Lone Birch label. An enticing bouquet of tropical fruit leads to a well-balanced, medium-bodied mouthfeel with luscious flavors of pineapple, pear, and white peach. All textbook flavors for Oregon and Washington Pinot Gris VS. the lighter flavors usually associated with Italian Pinot Grigio.
Pullus Pinot Grigio (Slovenia) - Pinot Grigio means Grey Pinot, and most people assume that like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, the Pinot Grigio grape would be green. In actuality, it is a purple-ish grey color and if you leave the skins in contact with the juice during the winemaking process, it's possible to extract some of that color to produce a Rose wine. That skin contact contributes more than just color, adding extra texture and flavor too. I think the winemaker at Pullus enjoys being contrary, because the front label says "Pullus Pinot Grigio Dry White Wine," which is what you would naturally assume the wine would be. BUT, this is a skin contact Pinot Grigio and the wine is actually pink! And delicious enough to forgive his contrariness. The nose offers ripe pear, green melon and floral notes, while the discreet oak and the creamy quality given by lees aging round out the experience on the palate with a sensational spice note you don't expect from a Pinot Grigio.
Cattin "Sauvage" Pinot Blanc (Alsace) - “Sauvage” is Cattin’s new organic, sustainably farmed, vegan friendly label produced with minimal intervention, no additives and only the native/savage yeasts. Grown on high altitude soils of gravel, sand and south-facing clay and limestone. Slow, gentle pressing avoids crushing the stalks and pips to minimize extracting bitter flavors and tannins and is followed by slow, natural fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats, generally lasting from four to 10 weeks. The nose shows apricot, brioche and a touch of fresh lemon. On the palate it shows pleasant acidity with apricot, honeysuckle and dash of spice tones, then a nice long stony finish.
Albert Mann Vieilles Vignes Pinot Auxerrois (Alsace) – Pinot Auxerrois or Auxerrois Blanc de Laquenexy or also Auxerrois Blanc, is a white wine grape that is mainly planted in Alsace, and is also grown in Germany and Luxembourg. It is a full sibling of Chardonnay that is often blended with the similar Pinot Blanc grape variety. Auxerrois Blanc is thought to have originated in Lorraine, rather than near Auxerre in the Yonne. Recent DNA fingerprinting suggests that it is a cross between Gouais blanc and Pinot noir, the same ancestry as Chardonnay. Mann's Vieilles Vignes bottling is 100% Auxerrois from 45+ year-old vines that are organically- and biodynamically-farmed; hand-harvested from their vineyards in Kientzheim and Wettolsheim. Discreet yet expressive, the nose is fresh and mineral with ripe and unripe white core fruit, peach, citrus and earthy tones complemented by floral, blossom hints. The palate is quite silky, oily or waxy, nicely filling, full of white core fruit, peach, grapefruit and unripe pineapple, with floral hints and loaded with enhancing minerality. It drinks like replenishing mountain spring water, with "fat", nutritive and needed mineral components. The finish is focus and long with great acidity, wet-stone minerality, fresh green almond and citrus peel notes.
Rootdown Wine Cellars "Es Okay" White - Produced in Mendocino County, California, from Pinot Grigio fruit organically grown by small farmers the guys at the winery work really close with. This unique and delicious white wine is a lighter, fruitier, and more accessible take on the buzzed about "orange style" of winemaking. 80% of the Pinot Gris grapes are pressed off the skins and fermented normally, the remaining 20% are naturally fermented on the skins for five days. This method produces a richer color in the glass, more tannins, and an incredible florality on both the nose and palate. With an abundance of stone fruit and bright citrus notes (think tangerine and kumquats), this wine is like liquid sunshine.