2010 St. Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio Anger Alto Adige, 13.5%, $20
Nicely balanced on the nose with layers of pear fruit, minerals and light, fresh, herbal nuances. Round in the mouth, yet with admirable cut. The acid here is vibrant yet balanced and drives the powerful, mineral finish that offers a cleansing contrast to the mouthful of orchard fruits. A really nice Pinot Grigio. 91pts

2010 Martin Ray Pinot Gris Monterey County CA, 13.5%, $20
A touch leesy/floral on the nose, with dusty, talc minerals, a touch of white pepper and faint pear fruit. This is light and taut in the mouth with splendid acidity and somewhat lean fruit buffered with an edge of creaminess that creates real tension in the mouth. The fruit is earthy and lightly spicy, recalling slight unripe pear peelings with that fine, hard underlining acidity that drives the finish, which adds a hint of honeycomb complexity on the moderately long finish. This has a fine insinuation of classic Pinot Grigio bitterness, but adds just a touch of seasoning here and some length on the finish. 90pts

2009 Ponzi Pinot Gris Willamette Valley, 13.6%, $16
Deep and brassy on the nose with stemmy tones and some gentle floral-topped apple notes. A touch sweet on the palate but still remarkably light textured with wonderful acidity. This combines fruit and earthy tones with that gentle supporting sweetness in a rather complete package that turns aromatic in the mouth. This really fills the mouth and while the slight sweetness is noticeable, it is finely balanced by the vibrant acids and a gentle edge of bitterness. All the components meld together on the rather long finish. Very nicely done. I would prefer a little less RS, but this is so deftly balanced it’s tough to argue with the result. 90pts

2008 Coopers Creek Pinot Gris Marlborough New Zealand
, 13%, $13
Stemmy and soil-driven on the nose, with a spicy floral, dried citrus peel character.  This is a broad, soft, wide-open wine in the mouth, though not very big. The fruit is not prominent but this does offer wonderful, if slightly subtle mineral, herb and bitter apple fruit. The long finish is tense and focused with a long heirloom apple tone. Very nicely done with a fine, polished texture. 90pts

2007 Eugene Klipfel Pinot Gris Cuvee Louis Klipfel Alsace, 12.5%, $16
Richly aromatic (if evolved) with bold notes of dried passionfruit, quince paste, dried flowers, deep honey and toasted almond aromas. Noticeably sweet on entry with good supporting acidity, keeping this very well-balanced. The flavors are subtle, mimicking the aromas with their slight dried fruit qualities and honied notes.  This really is very attractive with a fine combination of mature flavors and fine freshness. The long finish adds a nice spicy edge. This is wonderfully put together in a very approachable style. 89pts

2008 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Reserve Pinot Gris Willamette Valley
, 13%, $15
This smells almost exactly like a handful of soil and river rocks mixed with a touch of lime zest, a few blades of grass and some crushed white flowers, adding some tallow notes with air. Rather light on entry, though this has some really glassy mineral attractive notes on the palate, very pure if low intensity citrus and bitter apple tones. This might be called a bit diluted but I like it for its elegance and freshness. This has Muscadet character on both the nose and the palate, with a wonderfully refreshing citrusy finish that ends with a touch of earthy spice. 89pts

2009 Methven Pinot Gris Willamette Valley, 13.9%, $18
This is somewhat spicy on the nose with notes of dried apricot, pressed flowers, butcher’s wax and a touch of mace. A touch of RS helps round this out in the mouth, but it remains fairly well-focused with a nice core of rather fresh peach and pear fruit, balanced by a touch of tannin. Actually the tannin here is distinctly noticeable, lending some textural interest to the back end and helping displace the sugar on the moderately long finish, which reveals a nice blend of sugar-supported fruit and spice. A touch thick, definitely for those looking for a richer style of Pinot Gris, though I would like to see some more depth of flavors here. Still, quite successful. 89pts

2008 King Estate Pinot Gris, 13%, $14
Lots of sweet fruit on the nose with lightly spicy floral tones and nice creamy apple notes. A touch sweet on entry, then quite bright with acids that really refresh the palate. Very green apple-flavored with an intriguing tropical element that recalls papaya. This is intense and fairly complex, only falling short on the slightly modest finish. Great fruit and freshness. 88pts

2008 Alma Rosa Santa Barbara Pinot Gris,
14.1%, $15
Big, ripe fig notes on the nose with a huge floral character, then a nice apricot profile fills the glass. Nice clarity in the mouth, even though this is fairly large-scaled. The fruit is bright with a gentle mandarin orange note accenting the lightly nutmeat-toned stone fruits. Good length reveals some heat as well as a nice apple blossom tone. 88pts

2010 Bottega Vinaia Pinot Grigio Trentino, 13%, $16
Light and crisp on the nose with yellow pollen floral tones and gentle apple fruit, with a hint of waxy incense. In the mouth, this is fairly rich but restrained. There’s nice depth of fruit, all in the golden apple and pear end of the spectrum, with a touch of hay-like complexity. This is a bit firm and shows an elegant side to Pinot Grigio that is hard to find. Crisp and very pretty, though it does show some heat on the finish. 88pts

2008 Alois Lageder Benefizium Porer Pinot Grigio, 13%, $20
This smells a bit earthy and woody on the nose, with a soft almond and honeycomb tone. A bit soft in the mouth at first, again with a touch of old wood up front, before the acids firm up the mid-palate. This is taut and bright with fairly rich, if gentle, fruit that is mineral-flecked with a creamy, moderately long finish. Nice hint of bitter spice on the finale. 88pts

2010 Terlano Pinot Grigio Alto Adige, 13%, $16
Very ripe on the nose with notes of lightly baked fruit that recalls apricots, over floral and quartzy mineral elements. Broad on entry and rich with solid acids lending freshness and a touch of bitterness that offers nice contrast to the ripe fruit flavors, and lends some tension to the back end as well as the finish. 88pts

2010 Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris Cuvee Romanus Alsace, 13%, $18
This is rather aromatic with notes of bitter apples, quartz, dusty tree bark and a light, almost honied, spice tone with a touch of musk. Rather focused on entry, this broadens nicely on the back end where it reveals a richly fruited sweet core of fruit. There’s a touch of spice here as well, adding some complexity. The acidity is bright but well-balanced. Not profound, but this delivers a lovely balance of fruit and spice that shows excellent persistence and adds a little mineral on the finale. 88pts

2009 Seven Hills Pinot Gris Oregon,13.5%, $15
Clean and fresh on the nose with some lightly smoky, almost flinty, qualities over a core of rather sweet apple fruit. Soft in the mouth and rather broad, with mouth-filling apple flavors and a nice little spice note that turns a bit bitter on the mid-palate. Classic Oregon Pinot Gris, with a touch of mineral and a hint of RS. 88pts

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