There has been a remarkable surge in popularity for Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio over the past five years. Its vines can be found on more Australian slopes than Riesling and it performs exceptionally well in low vigour, cool climate regions like Mornington Peninsula, Great Western and Tasmania. But what is the difference between these two styles?
Pinot Gris and Grigio are the same grape variety but are made in two different styles, resulting in a spectrum of diverse flavours. Gris is typically picked later and riper, and is rich, spicy and full bodied with a round, glossy texture. Grigio on the other hand, is light and crisp, with a restrained nose, good acid structure and a clean long finish. Both are wines of concentrated character, pioneered in Australia by Kathleen Queany and her husband, Kevin McCarthy of T’Gallant Wines in the 1980s.
Whichever style, both wines are incredibly flexible and pair well with a huge range of foods. Pinot Gris goes spectacularly well with spicy Thai dishes – the sugar content in the alcohol will cool down the chili, and the aroma will draw out the coriander and lemongrass flavours. Pinot Grigio on the other hand, is a great wine to match with seafood as its dry and subtle notes won’t overwhelm the delicacy of Tasmanian Scallops. Alternatively, try matching it with cheese platters or smoked meats.
Due to the newfound popularity there’s a huge range of the variety on the markets, so to help you with your wine experience we’re showcasing a few sublime examples for your enjoyment. The Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Pinot Gris is made from fruit grown on Australia’s oldest Pinot Gris vines and features a plush, soft palate with fresh pear flavours and a citrussy fruit core. Its terrific savoury texture is the result of barrel maturation. The Beelgara Black Label Pinot Grigio 2011 is pale to bronze in colour. Aromatic pear, apple and lemon juice lift from the glass with ripe, juicy and vibrant pear varietals on the palate. It’s a zesty wine with vibrant sorbet and a fruit tingles-like mouthfeel.
To enjoy these fantastic wines or to browse our range, visit https://www.wineselectors.com.au/white-wine/Pinot-Gris-Pinot-Grigio. To discover more about this unique variety, pick up a copy of the latest Selector magazine.