In my blog post yesterday I lamented that it is not always easy for me to get excited about New Zealand’s pinot gris offerings unless there’s extra work gone into the winemaking that adds power and complexity. But one I tasted at a First Glass tasting recently took my fancy irrevocably. It was a little left field, I guess, but to me it stated its varietal stamp from the outset. It surprised me that, when the options game was played, I was one of the few to correctly pick the variety. Well it was different to the previous wine, which was more of a mainstream style of Kiwi gris. That said …
It was Greywacke Marlborough Pinot Gris 2011, from the genius winemaker, Kevin Judd. From the quince-like aroma followed by summer stone fruit in the palate with nuances of tarragon, hints of vanilla and a touch of strudel spices, it undeniably stated its variety. But this was a wine with body and texture. ‘It must have some oak,’ I thought and checking later on the greywacke.com website, I found indeed it did. ‘Half of the juice was inoculated in a stainless steel tank using cultured yeast and the balance was filled into old French oak barriques where it was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation,’ the notes said.
With an exciting zingy zing zang to the rounded, savoury finish, to me it emanated total class. I was swooning.
So the following night the wine pourer and I treated ourselves to a couple of glasses each of this simply gorgeous wine. The catalyst was the piece of pork belly picked up form the butcher earlier in the day. A nice piece of pork belly, still on the bone, and topped with fleshy skin. Roast pork, salty crackling, apple sauce and Greywacke Pinot Gris. I was salivating.
When served at the First Glass tasting, the wine had been lightly chilled. Now, served at room temperature, I picked up nuances of wild yeast fermentation that wasn’t apparent when the wine was chilled. And a lime-like acidity that simply sizzled and sang.
A gorgeous exciting wine and an incredible match to the pork belly with crunchy crackling and apple sauce.
I paid $27.99 for this wine ‘on special’ (mail order price is $25.45 with minimum quantities applying plus freight) and I also picked up the last bottle of the Greywacke Marlborough Chardonnay 2010 that they had in the store. I was elated!