Pinot Grigio Under $15

A collection of value Pinot Grigios that wont hurt your wallet

2011 Tolentino Winemaker’s Selection Bodega Cuarto Dominio Pinot Grigio Mendoza ARG 12% $15

Floral, lemony and slightly creamy on the nose with some lime candy notes. In the mouth, this has a nice texture with acidity supporting modest richness in a clean and fresh way. The flavors recall the nose with a distinct candied edge, even showing some pineapple on the back end. It’s going to prove to be very popular with the cocktail wine crowd but it’s a distinctly fruity and slighty sticky style of wine. 84pts

2011 Dancing Coyote Pinot Grigio Clarksburg CA 13% $12

Sweet and floral on the nose with a hint of red peachy fruit accenting a base of lime/lime blossom fruit. A bit soft on entry, this snaps together nicely on the palate and delivers a round, easy to drink mouthful of melon and citrus fruit. Remains aromatic and floral in the mouth, adding a hint of fennel on the back end and through the modest finish. 84pts

2011 White Pine Pinot Grigio Michigan USA 12.5%

Smells a bit funky with bananas, coconut husks, melon and some flinty, mineral notes on the nose. Nicely balanced and fresh, this is very clean in the mouth. Citrus fruit is backed up by more of that almost flinty, mineral quality that takes over on the moderately long finish. Easy to drink and with some textural interest, this just needs a bit more depth of flavor. 83pts

2010 Double Decker Pinot Grigio California 13% $12

Light lemon on the nose but not very aromatic. Light and fresh in the mouth with hints of limeade and lemon flavor. This is fresh and easy with a hint of RS adding some flesh. A nice touch of bitterness emerges on the modest, lime-flavored finish. A very light wine but one that has some appeal. Chill this and serve it by the pool, I’d drink it. 82pts

2011 Kenwood Pinot Grigio RRV 13.5% $12

Sweet apple fruit greets the nose along with a hint of white pepper and a light note of dried fruit and toasted nuts. A bit of an overripe flavor profile on entry, this retains a very ripe, almost syrupy peach quality in the mouth with noticeable richness balanced by good acidity. There’s not much of a finish here but the sugar does become more obvious once the modest acidity recedes. Tastes a bit heavy and dull. 80pts

2010 Luna Pinot Grigio Napa Valley 14.1% $13

This is fairly mineral on the nose with a nice contrast of stemmy apple fruit and some hints of pineapple. Light in the mouth and a touch soft, this is inoffensive but innocuous with lightly creamy peach flavors on the mid-palate and a hint of sweet nuttiness on the modest finish. 78pts

2010 Estancia Pinot Grigio California 13% $11

This smells a bit overripe with peaches, pears, hints of dried figs and a little mango for good measure. A bit thin in the mouth, there is enough acid here but this feels quite rounded and loose in the mouth. The overripe fruit flavors lead to a dry, slightly astringent finish. Fairly innocuous but not what I want from Pinot Grigio. 75pts

2010 Discoveries Vineyards Pinot Grigio California 13.5% $10

This smells overripe, sweet and artificially fruity with hints of Fruit Stripes gum and apricot preserves. Soft, low acid, jammy apricot and golden raspberry flavors on the palate are followed by a bitter, short and abrupt finish. Pasty. 70pts

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Top Pinot Grigio Under $15

Armani Pinot Grigio Valdadige DOC Vigneto Corvara (2011)
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Willow Vineyard Pinot Gris Leelanau Peninsula (2011)
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Bargetto Regan Vineyard Pinot Grigio (2010)
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Santi Sortesele Pinot Grigio (2011)
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Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris Yarra Valley (2011)
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Pighin Friuli Grave Pinot Grigio (2010)
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Brezza Dell Umbria Bianco Igt. Lungarotti (2011)
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Mcmanis Family Vineyards Mcmanis Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio (2011)
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Forchir Pinot Grigio Friuli Villa del Borgo (2011)
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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: dhcwine
    810660 8

    Sure would be nice if publications like yours could help us begin to trade our customers up not always down...

    Aug 21, 2012 at 3:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Drew458
    1039882 1

    Oh puh-leez dhcwine; most of the time Snooth is pushing $40+ wines and often $80+ wines that very few of us can afford.

    Nor am I all that sure that Snooth is an industry owned shill. Maybe they just want people to appreciate more wine. Ok, that's naive of me, of course they're a shill. So tell me, Mr. Wine Store owner, which would you rather have - the weekly $15 customer or the once a month $45 customer?

    Wine is a gamble, every bottle of every vintage of every variety at every price point. I'd much rather take a $10 risk or a $15 risk for a smaller payout tonight than a $75 risk that I have to carefully cellar for a decade before finding out that I've been suckered. I've been burned too many times ... and there are so many labels out there that almost NOTHING of what Snooth pushes is actually on my local store's shelves. But other wines from that region and vintage may be, so if I feel the drive to try something new and different, Snooth's advice can at least lead me in the (fingers crossed!) right direction.

    It's better than certain wine review "names", where every bottle of goat-lick seems to earn a 90 to 92 rating, when in reality most should have a 69 to 70 ratingor lower. But that doesn't sell wines does it? Calling the plonk the plonk?

    Aug 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

  • What works for me is reading so I understand the landscape, developing a relationship with two or three wine shops and trust. One shop I've found is batting 1000 on the wines I have purchased. I know this will not last but his care in wine buying is making me a very satisfied customer. Anyway, hits and misses is part of the fun...regardless of price. There are thousands of wines out there.

    Aug 21, 2012 at 11:55 PM

  • I tend to be on dhcwine's side in this particular PINOT GRIGIO discussion, as I find the best examples from North East Italy, Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and Slovenia are tending to come in the £12.50 upwards category here in London. Adjusting for taxes and ex rates thats about 15 plus.
    Yet I agree with Drew458 about not needing more $80 92pt wines to store until - one day - we are too dead to drink them!
    There is huge variation in the cheap pinot category. A clue is if the wine is clear, almost watery, that tends to be its taste. we also find all Alto Adiges worth drinking. Present fave is Tiefenbrunner's 2011. In friuli the wines have even more length complexity and exotics going on in the top examples./
    Has anyone found an Australian Pinot Grigio that isnt too tart and acidic yet?

    Aug 22, 2012 at 4:42 AM

  • Pinot Grigio makes it to America in droves. I feel with so much good Pinot Gris coming from Oregon and Washington why bother with much of the watered down Italians anyways.

    Aug 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM

  • I now see Innocent Bystander listed - which will be from Australia. Thanks.

    Dumb question time. Like Bacchustravels I love Pinot Gris - except in my case from the Alsace. Is it the same grape, as makes watery Italian wine for the kind office get-togethers that have me rushing to leave at 4.30, or pizza places where the wine list leaves one nothing to hope for?

    Aug 24, 2012 at 5:19 AM

  • I agree Drew458. I'm always looking to try something new but I skip over Barefoot, Yellowtail, Cupcake, Little Black Dress, Fat Bastard and Big Truck (seriously) wines. Snooth is a great way to try something new and $15 bottles are great ways for newbies to start developing a palate.

    Aug 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM

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