This summer in Washington D.C. has been surprisingly mild and beautiful – which for me translates to being unusually conducive to patio wine sipping. Such opportunities call for a wine that is crisp and refreshing, but my favorite sippers are those with a bit of depth and complexity to keep things interesting. The Novellum Chardonnay I recently reviewed has been serving us quite well but I decided it was time for something a little different! On a recent trip to Costco in Arlington the J Vineyards Pinot Gris 2013 caught my eye. I hadn’t had a Pinot Gris in quit some time, and I had always enjoyed it’s relative expressiveness compared to that of Pinot Grigio.
Appearance: Pale golden yellow
Nose: The nose suggests a light and crisp wine with notes of melon and grass.
On the palate: This is slightly fuller than the soft and subtlety aromatic nose suggests. The mouthfeel is lush and juicy with notes of sweet honeydew, lime, pear, banana and glycerin. This is crisp with a nice streak of minerality on the clean, lingering, slightly off-dry finish.
Varietal Composition: Pinot Gris
Origin: Clarksburg (36%); Lodi (36%); North Coast (22%); Monterey (6%), California
Value Rating: 4.5 / 5
Price: $9.99 (~$16 Retail)
Should you buy? Yes, this won’t last long in your glass!
The J Vineyards Pinot Gris 2013 was regularly priced at $11.99 but was on sale the day I was at Costco. Even at the retail price of $16 this well made Pinot Gris is well worth your consideration, but getting it under $12 is a great value. And don’t limit your enjoyment to patio sipping, as this begs to be paired with something spicy, preferably in an alfresco setting.
While Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are actually the same grape, its interesting just how different they can be. It just goes to show you how much of an impact ‘terroir’ truly has as variations in soils, climates and winemaking techniques all come together to create a truly unique wine with its own sense of place.
If you find Pinot Grigio too light or uninteresting then give the J Vineyards Pinot Gris 2013 a try. You might just find that California’s take on this French varietal is just what the doctor ordered!
You might also enjoy…
Rondel Brut Cava NV Review – At under $10 this Spanish Cava is likely to become your bargain go-to bubbly!
Novellum Chardonnay 2013 – At under $10 this complex yet refreshing Chardonnay from veritable power-importer Eric Solomon might be your new house wine!
Shopping for Wine at Costco – Costco might not have the rare finds and expertise of your local wine merchant but they do have great prices on popular finds!