Produced by Cumulus Estate Wines in Orange NSW this wine is a perfect example of an Alsatian Pinot Gris style with an Australian twist. Senior winemaker Debbie Lauritz worked in Alsace at the beginning of her career so fell in love with this variety at an early age. "It not just that I personally love this style of Pinot Gris, with its full palate of classic apples, pears, honey and fresh butter. But I also believe that our vineyard in Orange is ideally suited to such a style. Orange's high altitude, with resultant cool climate and greater concentration of UV light, does give us a unique balance of good palate weight, texture, zest and restrained elegance."
Debbie's interest in Pinot Gris and its suitability to Orange has culminated in an impressive 20 hectares of vines being planted on the Cumulus Estate. Debbie comments, "You have to have an inbuilt desire to create a top quality Pinot Gris because it is a very difficult variety to grow and is work intensive, needing heavy pruning as well as bunch and shoot thinning."
The 2011 season was working in Debbie's favour though, as the cooler than average temperatures and mature vines (with their well balanced canopies) produced less fruit, resulting in concentrated pear and apple flavours, and helped keep hold of the grapes natural aromatics and acidity.
"Getting such great fruit in 2011 was more than half the battle, but with our Climbing range we do like to carefully apply some winemaking techniques to deliver a little extra." Debbie adds.
"In this wine's case we selected three separate parcels, each picked at varying levels of fruit ripeness. The parcels were fermented separately, one held on lees and stirred weekly, and with a small proportion being barrel fermented. Blending the parcels together let us create a wine with that extra touch of complexity to layer the natural bright and elegant fruit character."
There's nothing grey about this modern style of an enticing French classic. More Pinot Greyt than Pinot Grey!
2011 Climbing Pinot Gris - RRP $21.95
Stockists: Distributed by Cumulus Wines. Available nationally though independent liquor stores.
Current Climbing wines:
Climbing Pinot Gris 2011 Climbing Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Climbing Chardonnay 2010
Climbing Merlot 2009 Climbing Shiraz 2009 Climbing Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Taste the full range at this year's ORANGE WINE WEEK 2011…
Now in its sixth year, Orange WINE Week (21st -30th October 2011) is set to draw thousands of visitors to the beautiful wine region of Orange NSW this spring. Join them to discover why Orange has so rapidly gained a name for itself as a region of rich and diverse food & wine quality and culture.
There are over 100 events to choose from (details at http://www.tasteorange.com.au/wineweek.htm) but for something new visit Cumulus Estate Wines. For the first time Cumulus Estate Wines will be setting up their Cellar Door at one of Orange's most delightful locations, the Wentworth Gallery Restaurant. Here they will hold the 'Cumulus Winemakers' Table' – a wonderful opportunity to hear directly from the winemakers what makes Orange so great - and a selection of free tastings, including all the wines from their Cumulus, Climbing and Rolling labels. See www.cumuluswines.com.au for more information.