Valli Wines Pinot Gris 2018
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Hailing from the coolest part of Central Otago, Pinot Gris here retains a sense of direction despite its inclination toward richness on the palate. Aromatically, imagine walking into a florists that also has a side-line in Parma Violets and you’ll get the picture. The finish is off-dry and satisfying with a touch of grippy phenolics providing a framework on the medium-length finish.
Valli is the personal vocation of pioneering Otago winemaker, Grant Taylor. "Grant’s name is synonymous with Otago Pinot Noir. He has been crafting wines in the region since 1993 when there were only 20 hectares planted - today there are over 2,000. Grant’s accomplishments are well known in the wine world and he is credited with winning the Best Pinot Noir Trophy at a major International Wine Competition in London an unprecedented four times – a feat achieved by no other winemaker in the world. Established in 1998, Grant founded Valli with the aim of creating true representations of Otago’s subregions with unflinching intensity and purity. This was also a first for the region – no one had attempted to capture, let alone master the developing sub-regional plot that has now begun to unfold as the next exciting chapter in the Otago wine story
Home to the globe’s most southerly vineyards, which are cultivated below the 45th parallel, Central Otago is a true one-of-a-kind wine growing region, but not only because of its extreme location.
Central Otago is more dependent on one single variety than any other region in New Zealand—and it isn’t Sauvignon blanc. They don’t even make Sauvignon blanc there.
Pinot Noir claims nearly 75% of the region’s vineyards with Pinot Gris coming in a far second place and Riesling behind it. This is also New Zealand’s only wine region with a continental climate, giving it more diurnal and seasonal temperature shifts than any other.
The subregion of Bannockburn has enjoyed the most success historically but the area’s exceptional growth has moved to the promising regions of Cromwell/Bendigo and Alexandra districts. Central Otago is known for its fruity and full-bodied Pinot noir. With the freedom to experiment here, growers and winemakers are easily exhibiting the area’s great potential.
Showing a unique rosy, purplish hue upon full ripeness, this “white” variety is actually born out of a mutation of Pinot Noir. The grape boasts two versions of its name, as well as two generally distinct styles. In Italy, Pinot Grigio achieves most success in the mountainous regions of Trentino and Alto Adige as well as in the neighboring Friuli—all in Italy’s northeast. France's Alsace and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce some of the world's most well-regarded Pinot Gris wine. California produces both styles with success.
Tasting Notes for Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is a dry, white wine naturally low in acidity. Pinot Grigio wines showcase signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are aromatic (think rose and honey), richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to their Italian counterpart. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often light and charming.
Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Grigio
The viscosity of a typical Alsatian Pinot Gris allows it to fit in harmoniously with the region's rich foods like pork, charcuterie and foie gras. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.
Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Grigio
Given the pinkish color of its berries and aromatic potential if cared for to fully ripen, the Pinot Grigio variety is actually one that is commonly used to make "orange wines." An orange wine is a white wine made in the red wine method, i.e. with fermentation on its skins. This process leads to a wine with more ephemeral aromas, complexity on the palate and a pleasant, light orange hue.