Monday, 27 May 2013

PINOT GRIGIO, OUR GREENER SHADES OF GREY



27 May 2013
SERVE well-chilled with mixed fried
seafoods, or a Thai beef salad.

David Ellis

THE French have been making pinot gris for yonks, with references to it going back as far as the 14th century, while later it found its way to Italy where its grown and labelled as pinot grigio and is now one of the most popular white wine varieties imported into many regions in the USA.

And it's gaining growing fans here in Australia too, in the last decade or so locally-made versions moving from somewhere down in the "alternative white wine" category, to more worthy mainstream recognition – in particular those made in our cooler regions.

But there are some makers turning out marvellously credible pinot grigio in warmer areas too: in the Hunter Valley, for instance, David Hook Wines was somewhat of a pinot grigio pioneer in that region in the late 1980s, with David producing consistently excellent examples ever since from his family's one-time grazing property at Pokolbin.

POTENTIAL Hunter classic?
Think about this with peppered
scotch fillets under a creamy
mushroom sauce.
'Grigio' is Italian for grey and while many pinot grigio in their homeland have a grey shade about them, in Australia such is not always the case. David Hook's recently-released 2012, for instance, is a bright medium green with yellow and gold tinges, and is a wonderfully steely dry drop that's nicely balanced between fruitiness and acidity

At a great-value $18 and with forward tropical fruit flavours and a touch of spice, serve this David Hook Pinot Grigio well-chilled with mixed fried seafoods, or Thai beef salad.

ONE TO NOTE:  ANOTHER interesting drop from one of the Hunter's smaller makers is a 2011 LDR Shiraz from the family-run De Iuliis Wines, whose Chief Winemaker, Mike ("MickeyD") de luliis has crafted a drop that's great for enjoyment now, but will improve marvellously over the next five years – so think cellaring a few for the future.

Made from fruit grown on heavy clay soils, this wine's already showing all signs of being a Hunter classic – medium to full-bodied with a soft mouth feel of fine grained tannins, ripe plums and blackberries, and at $40 its one to give good thought to for a special occasion dinner with spicy peppered scotch fillets under a creamy mushroom sauce.  

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