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Pinot gris/grigio

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I could use some input on this. The few that I've tried seem to strive toward inoffensiveness. Am I missing something? Is this their marketing niche? Or are there some good wines being made from the grape that I should be looking for?

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  1. Several from Oregon, including St. Innocent. From the Alsace in France I like Boxler and Weinbach, among several others. They can be more off dry. Also, there's several good ones from the Alto Adige in Italy.
    Which ones have you tried?

    9 Replies
    1. re: SteveTimko

      It's been a few years and the wines were so unremarkable that the names didn't stick. We've been drinking more whites this summer and I was thinking to maybe try this again. Want something fun and refreshing, not necessarily a peak experience (and the accompanying price tag).

      1. re: Akitist

        The Boxler Pinot Gris Grand Cru's are very nice, but they are pricey and I would really consider them fine wines to be savored with great food, not a fun and easy summer quaff.

        For a fun and refreshing white summer wine, maybe try a Vermentino? I recently enjoyed with a summer lunch a 2009 Vigne Surrau "Sciala" Vermentino di Gallura Superiore , which you can pick up for around $23.

        1. re: omotosando

          I agree on the Boxler - not a "deck sipper" for every Summer night.

          For that, I am more of a fan of NZ SB's (not as food-friendly in my book, as some other regions'), or maybe an Alvarinho/Albarño. Considering Portugal's economy right now, might be some great deals there?

          Enjoy,

          Hunt

      2. re: SteveTimko

        I guess mentioning Boxler is a bit of a red herring, since they're so hard to find. They're not all that expensive, though.
        There's plenty from the Alsace and the Alto Adige that are nice.

        1. re: SteveTimko

          The Boxler Grand Crus are expensive. Upwards of $40 unless you find them at discount. It's not Grand Cru Bordeaux pricing, but I consider that expensive. With the right meal, they are fantastic. I recommend that the OP seek them out at least one in a lifetime to see what can be done with the Pinot Gris grape.

          1. re: omotosando

            Woodland Hills wine has the 2004 Boxler estate for $27. I believe the OP is in the Los Angeles area. That's a good price. I'd buy it if I were in the area. The 2008 Sommerberg Grand Cru is $32.

          2. re: SteveTimko

            Any specific Alto's? Like the OP, I've never found one I'd call better than quaffable.

            1. re: invinotheresverde

              Elena Walch and Alois Lageder, plus one I can't quite remember. Maybe Louis/Dressner imports it.

              1. re: SteveTimko

                Hmm. Lageder has done nothing for me historically.

        2. I have never been a fan of this varietal, and find most (nearly all) to be as you describe, "striving toward inoffensiveness." I keep looking for something worth buying, but seldom find any.

          The King Estate Reserve (they have at least two others, that are not even close) is the best domestic (US), that I have found, though it seldom sees Arizona.

          I like the Boxler, that Steve mentioned.

          Found a Slovenian PG, but could only score 3 bottles. The production was something like 100 cases. It is gone, and I will likely never see it again.

          Good luck,

          Hunt

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Russiz? Livio Felluga? Venica? Tiefenbrunner? Lageder? Some pretty nice, sometimes very nice, wines, making the most of an admittedly bounded varietal.

          2. We drink quite a bit of Vinho Verde (Portugal) in the summer. It's low in alcohol, slightly effervescent, really refreshing in high humidity. Albarino, Spain's wine from the same grape, is generally more expensive and more complex. Also a lovely summer sipper.

            We tend to prefer Pinot Gris from France to Pinot Grigio from Italy. Much of the mass marketed Italian stuff we find insipid and watery. Or grossly overpriced (you know who you are!).

            Mac McDonald at Vision Cellars (www.visioncellars.com) makes a delightful blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.