Pinot Gris can be vinified in many different ways, from the early picked “grigio” style to a fuller, more textural “gris” as is typically made in Alsace. The trick with the latter style, into which this wine falls, is to manage the variety’s natural tendency to coarseness of texture. One sip of this tells you it has been beautifully handled.
But first to the nose, which is fleshy and moreish in the manner of a fruit dessert. Indeed, there are many parallels to baked goods in the way this smells, pear flesh mingling with vanilla and caramel as if part of a luscious dessert just taken from the oven to cool. This hints at the admirably involved range of techniques used in making this wine, including barrel fermentation, bâtonnage and a malolactic fermentation. Technicalities aside, the end result is a complex, alluring range of aromas that draws one into the glass.
Texturally, this wine is a masterclass in winemaking. There are textures aplenty - from a slippery glycerine-like glide through the middle palate to burbles of acid and a rasp of phenolic grip as the wine moves through its long finish. Mouthfeel alone would be enough to justify this wine. But there are a great range of flavours too, which continue from the nose to deliver Bosc pear, cream and butterscotch on the tongue. A neutral Pinot Gris this is not; there’s so much going on, yet it’s all contained and shapely thanks to all those textures.
Julian Coldrey [March 2016, commissioned by TMBT]
Hand picked 16-18 March 2015. Clone D1V7 (100%) from our Wallis (40%), Osborn (33%) and Spedding (27%) vineyards. Yield 7.6 tonnes/ha (3.1 t/acre, ~45.6hl/ha).
Grapes hand-harvested in mid March, whole bunch pressed and the unsettled juice fermented by indigenous yeasts in old French oak barriques. The stirring of yeast lees throughout a 7 month maturation in barrel and a complete malolactic fermentation in spring preceded a light fining and filtration before bottling.