2008 Kim Crawford Pinot Grigio

Up today is a 2008 Kim Crawford pinot grigio from New Zealand's east coast that ran me in the low teens.

Another nice pinot with notes of apple and pear and good body, but another one that wasn't nearly as tasty after a night in the fridge.  Maybe they're too chilled and I should try warming them up slightly before I drink them on the second day?

Since this review is pretty much a clone of my last one, here's some interesting background on pinot gris/grigio grapes from wikipedia: "Pinot gris (also known as Pinot grigio) is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot noir grape, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name (gris meaning "grey" in French) but the grape can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. The word pinot, which comes from the word meaning "pine cone" in French, could have been given to it because the grapes grow in small pine cone-shaped clusters. The wines produced from this grape also vary in colour from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink."

2010 Al Fresco Pinot Grigio

Earlier this week I drank a 2010 Al Fresco Pinot Grigio from the Veneto that ran me about $10.

I was trying to identify the notes in this wine; the label says pear, and I guess that's as good a guess as any.  Fairly fragrant on the first night.

Most wines overnight ok in the fridge corked back up, but for some reason this one didn't, and I only went one day before returningto finish it.  On the second day, the flavor was gone and it was almost offputting.  I didn't finish the bottle.

But for pasta salad or a light summer grill, if you'll be downing the bottle in one sitting, a nice pinot grigio.

2007 Viña Esmerelda

The last couple nights I drank a 2007 Viña Esmerelda from Catalonia that ran me in the low teens.  I think I may have reviewed this a summer or two ago but it's not coming up in a quick search.

This wine is 85% muscat of Alexandria and 15% gewurztraminer, so that's how it fits into my current pinot grigio/gewurz drinking regime.

It's a pleasant enough wine, sweet but not overly so.  Frankly, just drinking it as a sipping wine didn't do that much for me.  I did look for chicken breasts at the store a couple days ago, which might have gone well with it, but didn't find anything that would feed less than a family of 5. (Yes, I could have frozen some.  Let's move on.)

The label recommends it with shrimp/seafood cocktails (I also thought about getting some of those) (shouldve wouldve couldve), fish, and pates, and I can see this pairing well with any of those.  Also pasta salad maybe.

Not a standout but a nice refreshing white.

2007 Firestone Gewurtztraminer

Over the weekend I drank a 2007 Firestone Gewurztraminer from California's Santa Ynez Valley just north of Los Angeles.  (I'm going to use the French spelling so I don't have to mess with the umlaut.)  This ran me about $13.

This one much more body than the first one.  Very fruity, either apple or pear notes.  Not terribly "spicy" but that's ok.  I drank some with both a grilled pork chop and a snack later one evening, and it went well with both.  I probably could have drunk the whole bottle at a sitting if I hadn't watched myself.

In short: very nice wine, and it's close enough to a Riesling that people who think they don't like Gewurztraminers should like it too.

2011 Alexander Valley Gewürztraminer

I started my gewürztraminer drinking for the summer that will provide a contrast to the pinot gris/grigios.  The first one is a 2011 from Alexander Valley Vineyards in Mendocino County.  It ran me about $10.

First, a little introduction to gewürztraminer from Wikipedia: "Gewürztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which makes it a "white wine grape" as opposed to the blue to black-skinned varieties commonly referred to as "red wine grapes". The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyantbouquet of lychees. Indeed, Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same aroma compounds. Dry Gewürztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes."  I'll be telling more about it as the summer goes on.

So on to this first one.  It was ok, kind of on the meh end of the spectrum.  The label says it has notes of grapefruit and pear and some minerality.  Their recommendation is to pair it with spicy food, which of course is what it's famous for in the Old Country, with Alsatian cuisine.

Since this is my first one of the season, I don't have anything to compare it to.  Not a bad wine, just not the one for me.

2010 Girlan Pinot Grigio

Today a 2010 Girlan pinot grigio from the Veneto that ran me about $12.

This had interesting notes that I couldn't identify.  Lemongrass came to mind as one possibility.  In general the wine was lemony.  The acidity wasn't overwhelming, and it was balanced by just the right degree of sweetness.  I used some for making soup; it might not have been the wine for that, though.

In general a nice pinot grigio to go with chicken or maybe Asian cuisine.

2009 Oliver Pinot Grigio

Today a 2009 Oliver pinot grigio from southern Indiana that ran me about $10.

Oliver is based not too far from me in southern Indiana, and I really haven't tried their wines as often as I should.

This wine was nice but nothing special as pinot grigios go.  As the label says, "light, crisp flavor and fresh acidity."  A little sweeter (which I expected as it's aimed at the Indiana market) (not to be snarky there, but let me introduce you to my sister).  The sweetness balances a nice dollop of acidity, and it has nice fresh fruit notes.  My main complaint with it is it just doesn't have much body.

Certainly worth checking out for the price to go with seafood or a light summer meal.

2011 Villa Malizia Pinot Grigio

Today's moral:  If you buy a $5 wine, it will probably taste like a $5 wine.

This pinot grigio was on sale at Aldi's so I thought I'd try it.  Drinkable, but that's about all I can say about it.  More towards the acidic end of the spectrum, not much sweetness to balance.  The label claims notes of pear and peach and floral aromas but I didn't get any of those.

OK to have on hand to pull out in a pinch to drink with fish or use for fishing, but spend a little more for a better wine.

2011 Rose'N'Blum Pinot Grigio

Today a 2011 Rosenblum pinot grigio from Sonoma that ran me about $12.

Of the handful of pinot g's I've drunk thus far this spring, this would be my favorite.  A nice balance of sweetness and acidity, not as tart as the last one.

It also has some interesting notes.  I initially thought rose water, maybe influenced by the bottle.  The label claims lemon sorbet and orange sherbet (a classic example of silly label writing, as if anyone can tell the difference between a sorbet and a sherbet note).  But I would agree that this is very citrusy, close to drinking a sorbet from a bottle.

All in all a nice pinot grigio.  I bet it would go great with shrimp.  Maybe even some cheeses.

2011 Joel Gott and 2011 Be Bright Pinot Gris/Grigios

I've started my pinot gris/grigios summer with a 2011 Joel Gott from Oregon (bottled in Napa) and a 2011 Be Bright from Beringer in Napa.  (To be exact: the Joel Gott is a gris and the Be Bright is a grigio.)  Both cost me about $12.

Since these are my first of the season I'm not in a position to comment much on them.  The Be Bright has orange in the nose, a tad sweet for me generally, and in general on the bland side.

The Joel Gott was decidedly more acidic, like a lot of sauvignon blancs.  Perhaps a little lemony.  In general it was a little too acidic for my taste.

Neither one is a bad white for the price.  They'd be good with seafood.  I'm looking forward to trying others.