Top Pinot Grigios

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Top Pinot Grigios No matter what you call it, Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, chances are you’re looking for a lighter styled white wine to enjoy alone or with food. While the two names are simply the same grape in France (its homeland) and Italy (where it was turned into one of the world’s most popular grapes), they do refer vaguely to the two different styles of wine produced from this chameleon of a grape.

The truth is that there are many more than simply two styles, but the ends of the spectrum tend to be the thin, acidic, citrusy version that is synonymous with cheap Italian Pinot Grigio on one end and rich, spicy, thick, alcoholic and sweet versions from Alsace on the other. Where they come from, well that’s another story entirely, as bourne out by the best Pinot Grigios/Gris of our recent tasting.

Photo courtesy noatakem via Flickr/CC

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  • Snooth User: vino5153
    331087 2

    Although I agree with your best overall, the Elena Walch Kastel Ringberg is a very close second at the same approximate retail.

    Jun 24, 2011 at 8:00 AM

  • Snooth User: DDennis
    852185 28

    My husband and I went to our local farmer's market here in Broken Arrow, OK this morning. I had the pleasure of tasting what I would classify as the best Pinot Grigio that I have ever had in my mouth! It was a 2010 Pinot Grigio from Summerside Vineyards in Vinita, Oklahoma! what a treat! I also tried the Blackberry Wine and it was divine. Both bottles are priced at $21 each, which I thought was a bit pricey, but well worth it. There are several events planned at Summerside Vineyards this year and hope I can attend one.

    Jun 25, 2011 at 8:40 PM

  • Snooth User: DDennis
    852185 28

    I'm gonna try each that is available in my area. Thanks for the listing.

    Jun 25, 2011 at 8:41 PM

  • Sudtiroler Pinots and Kiwi Pinot Gris (in general) are styles that are recommended from here in England. The latter tend to be breadier and more food wines, the former more aromatic.
    Klipfel is a name associated with excellent Riesling and Pear williams eau de vie on Parisian holidays in the past. They turn up in Alsacien Brasseries, which also tend to be reliable when in Paris.

    Jun 28, 2011 at 7:26 AM

  • The pinot grigio's from Alto Adige can be very good, however compared to the top cuvees from Friuli they are rather light and 'elegant' in style. To bad you have not tasted the pinot grigio 'Dessimis' from Vie di Romans or the pinot grigio from Villa Russiz. These two are full-blood champions and will beat the ones from Alto Adige in complexity and intensity, every time.

    Jul 09, 2011 at 1:26 PM

  • How come you know I have not tasted these wines? I have tasted Russiz and I agree with you about the Friuli wines having more complexity, length and intensity, based on the Russiz example.
    One of the best white wines I have ever tasted. There were a few others with Slovenian or slavic names from that area that were outstanding too.
    However the Alto Adige wine was in the collection of labels. They are reliably refreshing and aromatic, and consistent.
    If Fruili Venezia Giulia had been in the array of labels pictured, Id have extolled those. I love these wines, but they are quite hard to find here in London except in good restaurants, where the markups are steep.
    If you are importing Russiz into the USA you are performing a public service.

    Jul 11, 2011 at 11:11 AM

  • Hi William, it's true that they are hard to find and that these wines do not come cheap. I am glad to hear that you agree on the outstanding potential that some of these wines have. Unfortunately, the production of many of these wines is (extremely) limited. I am a wine importer, but based in the Netherlands. I know that e.g. Vie di Romans and Villa Russiz are sold out each year. If you happen to know any importer in the U.S. who is interested in these wines, I might be able to sell a part of my allocation. Let me know if you do!

    The markups in (good) restaurants are indeed steep. In the Netherlands and Belgium there is a growing debate going on about markups. The general opinion here is that a markup should not be a percentage, but a fixed amount of money. On the other hand, as an importer I also help reliable restaurant owners by letting them pay the more expensive wines after (!) they have sold them (we check monthly what was sold). Maybe more importers should do that!!!

    Jul 11, 2011 at 12:17 PM

  • Dear Saffredi - Forgive me I assumed Saffredi to be American. Here in London, where I am just a drinker of interesting wines rather than in the business, markups in restaurants mean you pay typically 3 times retail. Your idea of a fixed amount would get me moving down the list to the higher priced. At the moment the multiple of 3 means you buy the expensive wines for the home entertaining and the cheapest good wine in the Restaurant! Which is crazy - and a little bit annoying. Last year we were eating 1 or 2 star Michelin in a French Hotel but pairing it with the local rose because their wine list was just ludicrously priced. I also tend to move up the list (to the cheaper) if I see a cheap wine has had more euro added to its price than in other restarants locally. If they cant get that right, how can I be sure I would be sold a fair price for, say, a Gevrey Chambertin vieilles vignes.
    I will generally buy the wines of FriuliVenziaGiulia and Slovenija on the basis that they are rarely seen and have been excellent in my limited experience.

    Jul 12, 2011 at 9:11 AM

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