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Pinot Gris

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By MICHAEL DRESSER | July 5, 2006
It's pricey, but this is also one of the best, most Alsace-like California pinot gris wines I've tasted. It's ripe, lush and complex -- giving an impression of sweetness while being actually quite dry. The flavors are an appealing mix of lemon, mint, melon, pear and tropical spices. The texture, intensity and finish make it worth the money. Serve with: salmon, turkey
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 16, 2014
From: Rissian River Valley, Calif. Price: $20 Serve with: Grilled salmon, fried chicken, crabs If you associate pink wines with sweetness, this wine could come as a surprise. It's a classic dry rose, bordering on severe but very stylish and crisp. It's a perfect wine to serve well-chilled on a summer evening on the deck or patio. It offers lively flavors of cherry, strawberry and rosehips and a distinct mineral character. Its elevated 14.5 percent alcohol is well-masked by the fruit but could creep up on the unwary because one glass will lead to a desire for a second, etc. -- Michael Dresser , The Baltimore Sun
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser | June 19, 2002
2001 J Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley ($18). You'll have to look on the back label for any information other than the bold letter J, but this is a wine whose quality matches its distinctive packaging. This dry white wine offers concentrated and complex flavors of pear, peach, mineral, spice, sweet pea, honey and tangerines. It finishes with vibrant acidity that refreshes the palate. This is one of the best wines made from the pinot gris grape, also known as pinot grigio, in the United States.
ENTERTAINMENT
Wesley Case | November 27, 2013
We really should have known better. Last Friday night, a friend and I strolled into Thames Street Oyster House, the Fells Point restaurant that has served the most delicious seafood in the neighborhood since opening in July 2011, without a reservation. What were we thinking? It was just before 8 p.m., and the first floor was buzzing with dinner dates and anxious diners waiting for prized tables to open. Upstairs was booked for the night, so the downstairs bar area was our only option, according to our smiling hostess.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | January 3, 2007
This is a truly exceptional New Zealand pinot gris that ranks right up there with some of the best from France's Alsace region. It's a voluptuous dry white wine with a creamy texture and long finish. It offers a complex interplay of flavors of pears, peach, tropical fruit, spices and honey. This is truly a special-occasion white wine. Serve with baked salmon with a creamy sauce.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | May 3, 2006
Out of a sextet of white wines from this reliable Washington state producer, this was the best value. It's a full-bodied, dry wine with an appealing, creamy texture. It offers a complex-for-its-price blend of lemon, apple, spice and mineral flavors. All in all, it's a worthy New World echo of Alsace pinot gris. Serve with salmon.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | June 15, 2005
2004 Gallo of Sonoma Pinot Gris, Sonoma County ($13). Gallo continues its "up-from-Thunderbird" quality drive with this truly impressive pinot gris, a tremendous value at this price. Pinot gris, known in Italy as pinot grigio, is a white varietal that yields wine with body comparable to a chardonnay but with less need of oak flavoring. This full-bodied version offers generous flavors of lemon, apple, nuts, herbs, minerals and sweet peas. It's a complex, gripping wine with admirable length and smooth texture.
NEWS
By [Michael Dresser] | January 9, 2008
2006 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris From: Sonoma County, Calif. Price: $16 Serve with: Salmon, pork One of the finest products from the Gallo family of wine labels, this full-bodied pinot gris bears a more-than-casual resemblance to the fine wines made from that variety in Alsace, France. It's a rich, intensely flavorful wine with a creamy texture and hints of apricot, peach, pear, honey and mulling spices. Drink over the next year.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | February 6, 2002
2000 Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris Reserve ($14). This exquisitely balanced, racy, dry and full-bodied white wine from Alsace presents a wonderful alternative to oaky chardonnays. It displays lively flavors of pears, peaches, melon, honey, nuts, spices and coconut. Try it with salmon, turkey or Asian cuisine. This is the same grape as Italy's pinot grigio but with more muscle and flavor. One caveat: Don't confuse the pinot gris with Sparr's 2000 Pinot Blanc - a mild disappointment in this vintage.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 2013
From: Salta, Argentina Price: $13 Serve with: Full-flavored fish, turkey Torrontes is an exceptionally fine white wine grape, grown mostly in Argentina. This is an unusual version but a very good one. It's more full-bodied than typical wines from this grape. Its weight and texture are reminiscent of an Oregon pinot gris, which is not a bad thing. But where the typical torrontes might pair up with snapper, this version would be more salmon-friendly. It's intensely flavorful wine with flavors of mulling spices, pear and tropical fruit.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | November 20, 2010
Standing up to the wide variety of flavors on the traditional Thanksgiving table is a tall order for a white wine, but few do it as well as a well-made Alsace Gewurztraminer. This wine, from the venerable and well-distributed Hugel firm, is powerful and concentrated, dry despite the sweet impression given by the voluptuous, spicy fruit. It's a long-finishing, gripping wine with flavors of peaches, pears, mulling spices and a hint of orange. If you're serving turkey and you can't find this at the last minute, ask a knowledgeable wine merchant to recommend an Alsace Gewurztraminer or pinot gris.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Dresser and Baltimore Sun reporter | March 17, 2010
From: Santa Lucia Highlands, Calif. Price: $20 Serve with: Salmon with cream sauce This is hardly a delicate, crystalline white wine. It's big, robust, rounded and creamy in texture. The alcohol level is high for a white at 14.2 percent, but it's barely detectable behind the generous flavors of pear, tropical fruit, spices and honey. This is one of those dry wines that gives an impression of sweetness with its bold fruitiness. Not for casual sipping, it needs to be paired with food.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | August 13, 2008
2007 Etude Pinot Gris From: Carneros, Calif. Price: $24 Serve with: Swordfish, lobster Here's a full-bodied, dry white wine much in the style of a fine pinot gris from France's Alsace region. Its creamy texture underlays rich flavors of lemon, peach, pear, honey, almond and mulling spices. It delivers the complexity of a fine chardonnay without the oak getting in the way.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | November 14, 2007
From: Dundee Hills, Ore. Price: $18 Serve with: Roast turkey and all the trimmings This zaftig white wine is entirely too much to serve with seafood, but it could be just the right choice for a family Thanksgiving gathering. It's full-bodied and intense enough to stand up to the multiple palate assaults of a turkey dinner. The texture is rich and creamy, and it offers a complex array of flavors including peach, apricot, citrus, nuts, herbs and warm winter spices. Not for every occasion, but great for this one.
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