Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:33 pm

This Pinot Blanc turned out to be a great buy!

WTN: 2011 Kellerie St. Magdalena Weissburgunder Sudtirol-Alto Adige.

Top quality winery, need to explore more. $21 Cdn, spur of the moment buy.

The color is a pale lemon. On the nose I get almost smoky, white stonefruit. Beeswax maybe, lemon lime. Dryish entry, no tropical fruits here forumites! Peach, some herbal character with mineral nuances. Not a creamy style at all. Vibrant, great balance all round.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Oliver McCrum » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:56 pm

Great notes, Bob.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Andrew Bair » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:11 pm

Marty's received a few bottles of this nicely aged Pinot Blanc/Weißburgunder in the spring, and I made sure to grab one. You don't see a lot of 19 year old white Pinots around, aside from some late harvested and botrytised examples of Pinot Gris from Alsace, and perhaps a few from the Pfalz. Plus, most of us think of Riesling and GV we we think about Kamptal. As David mentioned earlier in this thread, Hiedler has made some great Weißburgunder in this region of Austria.

1994 Hiedler Langenloiser Schenkenbichl Weißburgunder
Opened about 45 minutes before pouring. Nose of lemon drop, herbs, turmeric, and minerals. Full-bodied, bone dry, round, nicely balanced, with lemon tea, pineapple, yellow grapefruit, pear, and quinine notes; vaguely grassy. Excellent. This was a library selection offered by Terry Theise.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:50 pm

Andrew Bair wrote:Marty's received a few bottles of this nicely aged Pinot Blanc/Weißburgunder in the spring, and I made sure to grab one. You don't see a lot of 19 year old white Pinots around, aside from some late harvested and botrytised examples of Pinot Gris from Alsace, and perhaps a few from the Pfalz. Plus, most of us think of Riesling and GV we we think about Kamptal. As David mentioned earlier in this thread, Hiedler has made some great Weißburgunder in this region of Austria.

1994 Hiedler Langenloiser Schenkenbichl Weißburgunder
Opened about 45 minutes before pouring. Nose of lemon drop, herbs, turmeric, and minerals. Full-bodied, bone dry, round, nicely balanced, with lemon tea, pineapple, yellow grapefruit, pear, and quinine notes; vaguely grassy. Excellent. This was a library selection offered by Terry Theise.


Sounds perfect.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:23 am

Disclaimer: I drink very little Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio as I find the former usually too ponderous and the latter too lacking in character; I do, however, like Pinot Blanc.

2012 Navarro Vineyards Pinot Blanc
nose: crushed rocks and white flowers, lovely
palate: light body, plenty of acidity, stone fruit

Over the years, I have developed a fondness for Pinot Blanc and have found the finest expressions of it in Oregon. My wife Jean, who loves the wines of Navarro, ordered a mixed case that contained a few bottles of their Pinot Blanc (a new wine for them) and it's a fantastic rendition of the grape. The nose to me is classic PB and bears some resemblance to certain renditions of Sauvignon Blanc, but is on the whole more aromatic. It's a great food wine that stands up surprisingly well to smoked meats.

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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Shaji M » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:28 pm

2012 Toulouse Vineyards Pinot Gris (Anderson Valley)
Tasted at the tasting room yesterday afternoon. Pale straw, peaches and floral on the nose. slight viscosity in the mouth, more stone fruit, wet stones and good acidity. Nice finish. Enjoyable wine.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Bill Hooper » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:30 am

Oliver McCrum wrote:Bill,

Thanks for the detailed notes. I would love to find some of those Pfalz examples, both still and sparkling, I have no idea if they're brought into the US.

Now maybe we should talk about the other neglected Alsatian variety that does so well in Germany, Silvaner...


Silvaner is probably the most misunderstood variety of the Germanic regions of Europe. Actually it is making a come-back as of late.

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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:10 pm

I'm not a fan of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, finding most of them boring (I did like a Carr Winery Pinot Gris from Turner Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, CA in past years). However, for the sake of this month's focus, I did sample some Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio at restaurants. At D'Vine Wine Bar and Cafe in Charlotte I had a half glass each of the following wines:

2011 Quadri Pinot Gris, Italy Green apple and citrus notes. I prefered this slightly over the Washington State sample although initially I tilted the other direction.

2010 Mercer Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley, WA Honeydew melon on the nose and palate. Touch of oak? (This received 90 points and a Best Buy recommendation from "Wine Enthusiast."

I had these with a cheese plate of Cahill Irish Whiskey cheese (Ireland), Carr Valley cave-aged cheddar (Wisconsin) and Manchego from Spain.

The next day I had a glass of 2010 Au Bon Climat Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc, Santa Barbara CA at Georges Brasserie, Charlotte. I liked this better than either of the two previous Pinot Gris above. It was light-bodied and pleasant and food friendly with just a touch of creaminess. However, I had a glass of Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc with my appetizer and entree that I liked better than all three wines with the Pinot Gris grapes.
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WTN: 2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve Personnelle

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:26 pm

2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve Personnelle - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC (7/26/2013)
Drink up, as this is deliciously mature now. Still some pretty yellow/orange fruits, also some spice notes. It's fairly rich on the palate, but not heavy. Perhaps there's a trace of alcohol on the finish, but the wine is a bit warm. The persistence is lovely - carrying from one sip to another. It's long enough for me to write an entire tasting note. Really though - now is a very good time to drink this.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Andrew Bair » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:20 pm

The white Pinot varieties are quite popular in Germany, though not a lot of these wines make it to America. Some are certainly quite good. Anyway, Wagner-Stempel is considered by many to be one of the top producers in Rheinhessen these days, although this is the first wine that I have ever had from them.

2011 Wagner-Stempel Weißburgunder Trocken Siefersheimer
Full-bodied, bone dry, roundish, well balanced, with moderate acidity; lightly mineral, with pear and citrus notes, plus a bit of spicy oak. Good/very good - perhaps this is just me, but I don't really see it improving much. Expensive at $37 - I'm hoping that their Rieslings are better.
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve Personnelle

Postby Andrew Bair » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:22 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve Personnelle - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC (7/26/2013)
Drink up, as this is deliciously mature now. Still some pretty yellow/orange fruits, also some spice notes. It's fairly rich on the palate, but not heavy. Perhaps there's a trace of alcohol on the finish, but the wine is a bit warm. The persistence is lovely - carrying from one sip to another. It's long enough for me to write an entire tasting note. Really though - now is a very good time to drink this.



Thank you for the note, David. If pressed to choose a favorite dry Pinot Gris, I'd go with Trimbach's Réserve Personnelle.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:08 pm

I would not consider the 2000 version to be compltely dry. Close, but no cigar.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Paul Rainbow » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:47 pm

No doubt these grape varieties can produce some "wines of real character and flavor interest," to quote Robin Garr at the head of this thread — although Jancis Robinson at one time considered them fairly neutral (in the first, 1986 edition of Vines, Grapes & Wines). But I'm immediately reminded of a quotation from Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf, in which the narrator sings the praise of Alsace wines without individuality:

"The best was the Elsasser. I am not fond, for everyday at least, of racy, heady wines that diffuse a potent charm and have their own particular flavor. What I like best is a clean, light, modest country vintage of no special name. One can carry plenty of it and it has the good and homely flavor of the land, and of earth and sky and woods. A pint of Elsasser and a piece of good bread is the best of all meals" (p. 34).

Such ordinary wines can in fact be wonderful with food.
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Koch

Postby Rahsaan » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:50 pm

Tonight's 2011 Holger Koch Grauburgunder Bickensohler Herrenstuck was a very pleasant wine of moderate proportions. Just a touch of the ripe peachy fruit flavors but mostly a well structured wine with definition and mineral acid tingle. It doesn't scream out anything but would have been a lovely accompaniment to many dishes, although we opened it after dinner.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby JC (NC) » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:16 am

2006 Carr Vineyards Pinot Gris, Turner Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, CA. 14% abv. I was pretty certain I still had a bottle of this left but had to locate it. I thought I might have held it too long but it was really quite nice. For someone who is not a big fan of the grape variety, I had been impressed with this when I tasted it several years ago. It may be a deeper gold color now. It still retains some of the fresh green apple flavor and a dusting of mild pepper. A bit of pear fruit also comes into the palate impressions. Balanced, with nice minerality. Cold fermented in stainless steel. The suggested pairing on the label is with grilled halibut. I may have to seek out the current release when temperatures are more suitable for shipping across country.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Andrew Bair » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:28 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I would not consider the 2000 version to be compltely dry. Close, but no cigar.



Interesting to note. Wasn't this the year when Trimbach also made a special "Hommage" bottling of Pinot Gris?
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Andrew Bair » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:36 pm

A bit late, perhaps:

2007 Domaine Marcel Deiss Huebuhl
This is a field blend of all of the members of the Pinot family grown in Alsace – mostly Pinot Gris, with some Pinot Blanc, Noir, Beurot, and Meunier. Whereas most of Deiss’ 'Vins de Terroir' are bone dry to lightly off-dry, this is the product of a later harvest; with definite botrytis, and 83 g/L residual sugar.
Smoky, mineral, honeyed, lightly herbal, botrytis-scented nose. Full, round, ripe, quite honeyed, somewhat musky/steely; nutty, with notes of earth and minerals, bacon fat, spices, and pineapples. Excellent.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:54 am

All is good, I have 2 more to post on.
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the other Keller

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:53 am

Still in July-mode, we opened a 2011 Franz Keller Oberbergener Bassgeige Grauburgunder and it did an excellent job with shrimp in a light tomato sauce. Enough broad plump richness to handle the sauce, but the flavors were pretty restrained and it all went down smoothly. Nothing to wax philosophical over, but plenty useful for a large table of happy people.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:19 pm

Funningly enough, I too have a Grauburgunder to report on!
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Re: Koch

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:37 pm

Rahsaan wrote:Tonight's 2011 Holger Koch Grauburgunder Bickensohler Herrenstuck was a very pleasant wine of moderate proportions. Just a touch of the ripe peachy fruit flavors but mostly a well structured wine with definition and mineral acid tingle. It doesn't scream out anything but would have been a lovely accompaniment to many dishes, although we opened it after dinner.


Following up, the 2011 Holger Koch Grauburgunder *** is a step up in every direction, although I smell something distracting that appears to be oak. Still, this is nice material, good structure, and goes very well with a meal of rich-ish antipasti. That's what grauburgunder/pinot gris can do in ways that many other white wines cannot. Would like to see this with age.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:06 pm

Rahsaan et al, much anticipation here as I am about to open one from Weingut Bercher in the Baden.
Think we have all witnessed some excellent wines in the compelling Focus.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:36 am

I have visited the area a couple of times as my stepfather was from Haslach, just down the road so to speak.


TN: 2010 Weingut Bercher Jechtinger Eichert Grauburgunder Kabinett Trocken, Baden Germany.

Light yellow, no pink tones here. Lots of action on the nose with pear, herbs, apple on day 2. Can I also mention the dreaded word "mineral"?.
Dryish entry on the palate, fresh, good grip and structure. Apple, very nice citrusy kick, "immediately drinkable" from across the table. Held up well overnight with some more mineral tones. Went well with veal scallopini and asparagus.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Pinot Blanc, Gris, Grigio

Postby Rahsaan » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:13 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:I have visited the area a couple of times as my stepfather was from Haslach, just down the road so to speak.


TN: 2010 Weingut Bercher Jechtinger Eichert Grauburgunder Kabinett Trocken, Baden Germany.

Light yellow, no pink tones here. Lots of action on the nose with pear, herbs, apple on day 2. Can I also mention the dreaded word "mineral"?.
Dryish entry on the palate, fresh, good grip and structure. Apple, very nice citrusy kick, "immediately drinkable" from across the table. Held up well overnight with some more mineral tones. Went well with veal scallopini and asparagus.


Sounds good. I think they make some big 'barrique' wines elsewhere in the lineup, but this may have been more palatable.
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