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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pinot Blanc - the Uber Groovy White Wine of the Moment - you heard it here first

Move over, Pinot Gris - we were bored last month. 
Siddown Viognier, you're ssssssssssooo Tuesday. 

Step up - Pinot Blanc and step into the spotlight for your 15 minutes ....
Okay - it all starts with Pinot Noir. Not the easiest grape to grow, the viticulture vultures tell me.

Fickle, over-sensitive, stingy - and unstable. But enough about me.

Pinot Noir is genetically unstable and readily mutates into other subspecies - or whatever the gene genies and genome gnomes call it. 
From the original Pinot Noir Variety we now have Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. If you remember your 5th form French, Noir = black, Gris = grey, Blnc = white.  Thus the name describes the colour of the ripe grape.

I know when Pinot Gris first hit the shelves, they tended to be very wishy-washy, indistinct wines with little that you could nail in terms of aroma or flavour.  Basically a quaffing, forgettable slosh it down type drink.
Now there is more of a varietal character with Pinot Gris showing pear, apple and citrus, often with a lager-like aftertaste.

Just lately, I sampled two Pinot Blancs - one from north Canterbury's  Pyramid Valley wines and another from Nelson's Hope region - Greenhough label.  These are two family wineries - and I recommend clicking the links to read more.

Yennyhoo ... les vins

Pyramid Valley Kerner Estate Pinot Blanc 2008  $NZ30.00
Lovely golden colour, fermented and stored in French oak 450L barrels. Silky voluptuous wine with over ripe grapefruit, peach, melon and citrus.

Greenhough Hope Pinot Blanc 2009   $NZ32.00
13 months in French oak.  Pears, anise and a hint of ginger in syrup. Good palate weight and a lengthy finish.


Phil runs a not-for-profit business also known as Fine Wine Tours Auckland New Zealand

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