2008 Mt. Difficulty Pinot Gris Central Otago (Elsewhere $22)

SKU #1049759

89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ripe pear, spice and apple sauce notes of the nose.The full bodied palate provides a very crisp backbone of acidity, bestowing the richness of this wine with some lift. Very long, spicy finish. Drink now." (01/09) K&L's notes - We got a great deal on a wee bit of this wine from one of the pioneering wineries in Central Otago. The grapes were hand harvested from five different vineyards on the estate in Bannockburn. Post fermentation, the wine remained on the lees for 3 months with a weekly stirring. The nose offers spicy pear, peach and nectarine with some nice mineral notes. These flavors continue on the palate with a round creamy texture and good acidity that lead to a juicy finish with good persistence. (Jim Chanteloup, K&L New Zealand buyer)

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Price: $14.99
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Pinot Gris

- Also known as Pinot Gris in France, where it originated as a mutation of Pinot Noir. The berries can vary in color from yellowish to bluish-violet producing wines that range from white to slightly pink. The most successful wines from the grape come from the Collio in Friuli (Northeast Italy), where the wines are light- to medium-bodied, crisp, dry and, because of their high acidity, complementary to the region's foods like speck, Prosciutto di San Daniele and polenta. In Alsace, where the grape takes a back seat to more popular varietals like Gewürztraminer and Riesling, it is generally rich and honeyed. Other successful plantings of Pinot Grigio exist in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Romania, with even smaller amounts planted in British Columbia, Australia, New Zealand and California.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.