Brancott - 2008 Pinot Grigio

Quick, what grape do you think of when New Zealand comes up in brancott-pgconversation? I'll bet your answer was either Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. There's good reason for that as it's those two grapes that have really made their mark for New Zealand. But of course they aren't the only two varietals being grown there. Today I'll look at a Pinot Grigio from Brancott. The 2008 Brancott Pinot Grigio is made from fruit that was mostly sourced in Marlborough. The remainder is from the lesser known (to this point) Waipara region. This Pinot Grigio saw no oak treatment. The wine was left on light lees for a period of three months and stirred weekly. The alcohol for this offering is a modest 13% and the suggested retail price is $14.

The hue of this wine is a very light, pale yellow in color. Lemon zest, anjou pear and hints of white pepper are apparent in the expressive nose. Throughout the palate this Pinot Grigio is soft, lush and full of gentle, concentrated flavorful fruit. White peach, hints of tangerine and continued pear are all part of the mix here. Nutmeg, additional white pepper and touches of clove emerge on the finish. This wine has excellent acidity and is a sure bet to match with a wide array of lighter cuisine. I paired it with a chicken and vegetable stir fry and found that it worked quite well.

For $14 (less if you shop around), this wine is a nice value. It exhibits plenty of Pinot Grigio character and has a ton of flavor. Don' be afraid of overbuying this wine, it has the structure and acidity to drink well over the next couple of years. So no need to worry about drinking it all up during summer 2009.

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