Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Eight Pinot Grigio

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Barone Fini Pinot Grigio Valdadige (2010)
Comments: Appley and slightly sweet smelling with notes of mint and orange, adding some complexity. This is fairly round on entry with just enough RS to add that soft edge and reinforce the deeply fruity nature of this wine. There’s a lot to like here. Though the wine does lack some crispness, it delivers plenty of peachy fruit with a light hint of orange and enough acidity to keep this fresh. There’s not much of a finish beyond that acid zing, but this is fun. 86pts
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2 St. Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio Anger Linea Selezione Italy Trentino-Alto Adige (2010)
Comments: 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
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3 Martin Ray Pinot Gris (2010)
Comments: 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
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4 Ponzi Pinot Gris Oregon (2009)
Comments: 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
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5 Coopers Creek Pinot Gris Marlborough (2008)
Comments: 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
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6 Eugène Klipfel Pinot Gris Cuvée Louis Klipfel Alsace (2007)
Comments: 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
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7 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Gris Willamette Valley Reserve (2008)
Comments: 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
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8 Methven Family Vineyards Pinot Gris Willamette Valley (2009)
Comments: 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
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