Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Grape Of The Week: Pinot Gris

It's grape of the week time again! And this time its a white grape that is a must-have for Christmas.

Normally when I do these Grape of the Week posts, I give an example of a few wines, which show the grape in various styles, from all over the world, but not today.

I've been tasting Hugel's Pinot Gris, from Alsace, and it's getting all my attention because it's f***ing amazing*.

Everyone has heard of Pinot Grigio. If you haven't, please leave now. No wait, come back, I didn't mean it. Sit down, learn something. Pinot Gris is sort of like Pinot Grigio's educated cousin. They are related, but Pinot Grigio grew up on a dodgy estate, has an awful accent and never achieved much other than how to look like it's up for a shag. Pinot Gris, on the other hand, grew up on a countryside estate somewhere and now is a doctor, who does charity work in Africa and writes novels on the side. They see each other at occasional family weddings but find each other's company pretty much intolerable.

So... this post is about Pinot Gris.

Everyone has their benchmark wines, for example a specific wine that springs to mind when they think of an a-typical Aussy Shiraz, Chablis or Californian Zinfandel etc. For me, The Hugel Tradition Pinot Gris just is Pinot Gris.

As white wines go, it's pretty rich, weighty and beautifully rounded. There is lots in the way of substance and it is overflowing with so many layers of flavour. You get lots of fruit flavours; pear, lychee, grapefruit but you also get an amazing flinty quality on the finish. It is a bit spicy, clean and so so elegant.

This is an amazing white wine for Christmas as it is very food-friendly. Due to the weight and power of the wine, it would go nicely with full-flavoured foods, like gammon, duck pate, smoked trout, or even your Christmas Turkey if you would prefer a white over a red (just ease up on the cranberry sauce...).

So where the hell can you buy this stuff then? WELL, Hugel et fils are a very well established producer, so you may well have spotted their wines out and about. Pinot Gris "Tradition" 2011 Hugel is available from the old faithful Wine Society for £12.50 a bottle, and it's due in stock shortly, but until then you can get it from The Drink Shop for £13.92.
So hurry to get some before Christmas as it couldn't be more of a perfect white for the festivities.

*technical term

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