2002 Gustave Lorenz Altenberg de Bergheim Pinot Gris

December 14 2009 - 6:48 PM

Pinot Gris is the same grape as Italian Pinot Grigio, though the two could not be any more different.  Italian Pinot Grigio is typically a light, easy-to-drink wine, and many of you may have seen the very common Santa Margherita on the menu or in advertisements.   Pinot Grigio of Italy today seems to be causing the damage that blue bottle German Riesling caused a generation ago, where many people were scared off from drinking it even today, assuming that all of it is sweet and of poor quality, in spite of good examples.  This may explain why Oregonians call their product the French name, Pinot Gris, instead of Pinot Grigio. 

Formerly known as Tokay in the Alsace region in France, the name Pinot Gris is now used to eliminate confusion with the Hungarian dessert wine Tokaji.   Pinot Gris tends to be very viscous and often golden in color, yet very dry.  Gustave Lorenz makes an incredibly good Grand Cru product from the Altenberg de Bergheim vineyard, and their 2002 is drinking exceptionally well with notes of honey, meyer lemon, and coriander.  The last I looked Que Syrah Wines on Southport had a few bottles selling for $32.