30 Second Wine Advisor: Good California Pinot Gris

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 Good California Pinot Gris
Escaping the generalization that the best Pinot G comes from Alsace, Northeastern Italy and Oregon, we find a splendid example from California.
 Tangent 2005 "PG" Paragon Vineyard Edna Valley Pinot Gris ($14) Fresh and bright, medium-bodied and acidic, finishing with a tangy squirt of lime.
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Good California Pinot Gris

When we set our Wine Focus for June on quality Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, I mentioned that the conventional wisdom points to Alsace, Italy's Collio and Colli Orientali, and Oregon in the U.S. Pacific Northwest as likely hunting grounds for the more interesting examples.

But generalizations never pay, and sure enough, one of the most noteworthy Pinot Gs I've met so far this month turns out to be a Californian, from Tangent Wines, a sister winery of Baileyana Winery, in the Central Coast's Edna Valley.

Tangent's wine maker Christian Roguenant, writing on the winery Website, says he sought to "keep to the pure Alsatian style." I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but certainly this California white bows in the direction of Alsace with its medium-bodied dry flavor and firm, almost tangy acidity.

Tangent 2005 "PG" Paragon Vineyard Edna Valley Pinot Gris ($14)


Clear straw color. Attractive white-fruit aromas, pear and honeydew melon. Fresh, bright and dry, medium body and surprisingly tart on the palate, a burst of mouth-watering acidity, finishing with a refreshing squirt of lime. (June 4, 2008)

FOOD MATCH: An easy match with seafood, poultry or pork. It worked well with a simple chicken-and-rice pilaf.

VALUE: Wine-Searcher.com shows an unusually wide range of prices on this wine, from the lower teens to $20. It's a particularly good buy at the lower end of this range.

WHEN TO DRINK: Best within three or four years of the vintage.

WEB LINK: Here's a winery fact sheet on the 2007 vintage of this wine:

Look for vendors and compare prices for Tangent Pinot Gris on Wine-Searcher.com:

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