2006 Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris • Isabel Estate
New Zealand: Marlborough
What we say
note to new customers: Please note that we are not simply middlemen like other wine websites. All wines that we feature on this site are thoroughly tasted and reviewed by us. With thousands of wines available to us and with only 365 days in a year, us spies are very choosy about the wines we invite you to try. Only our favorite wines make it onto this site. Please enjoy!]
Most Secret Agents agree, the best Pinot Gris in the world comes from New Zealand. Specifically, from the Marlborough region. This particular Pinot Gris is no exception, we love its delicate and well balanced character.
Previous vintages have earned 90 Point ratings and this vintage is just hitting U.S. shores. The Wine Spies is among the very first to have gotten our spying hands on some… just for you!
Agent Sparkle was especially taken by this light golden varietal, giving it high marks for its silky smoothness. This is a wine that she calls “well behaved” and “not aggressive”.
Flavors of dried sweet sour grass and zest, rose petal and subtle apricot combine with a velvety mouth feel to deliver a refreshing and pleasing white. We spies enjoyed ours with shrimp kabobs and tandoori chicken with saffron rice. While the latter was a somewhat risky pairing, we accepted the mission – and succeeded! Delicious.
This is a versatile white that can be enjoyed with many different foods or on its own. We found it to be a great summertime compliment to our heated mission briefings and home cooked meals.
(Don’t let the screwcap fool you, more and more winemakers are moving away from cork which can taint the wine and make a great bottle undrinkable.)
This wine gets a hearty Wine Spies recommendation!
6g/l Titratable acidity
4g/l residual sugar
What the winery says
With a warm spring and early budburst, Pinot Gris can really set a large crop. Crop thinning becomes the focus in mid summer - with almost half the crop cut off…! Leaf plucking is not so important with this variety as we believe that too much sun exposure is damaging to this “delicate” variety. Constant analysis late season to ensure complete ripening without extreme high grape sugars resulting in undesirable high alcohols in the wine. With all our vineyard “blocks” surrounding the winery, the time from fruit being picked off the vine to pressing in the winery is usually less than half an hour! We believe this fruit “freshness” is important to the style of our aromatic wines.
It was the ideal year for skin contact trials as the full spectrum of Pinot Gris characteristics were crammed into the berries. Some fruit was whole bunch pressed with the remainder being cold soaked in our Pinot Noir open fermenters. As usual, absolutely no oak barrel contact for this wine.
A richness of aromas on the nose - everything is there, peaches and tropical fruit characters with an unmistakable nuance of coconut ice cream. The palate is intense for a sometimes-muted variety - dried fruits, peaches, apricots and the characteristic dried rose petals. A very expressive vintage, the seductive suggestion of feijoa fruit is tantalising… The power of this wine indicates further development to come over the next few years.
What the Press says:
“Nicely toned and structured wine, user-friendly and dry to suit food; a very enjoyable and accessible style suited to a wide range of courses. Isabel is one of the companies to have lifted the bar in Marlborough winemaking, showing what extra dimensions are available to wineries that take the trouble to focus on extra quality.”
Peter Saunders, Food & Beverage Magazine, New Zealand, April 2007
“… a very good wine, clean and fruity and, fortunately, suggestive of a salty savouriness, the dry finish carrying a certain shelly appeal.”
*Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, January 2007 *
“Woody and light-spiced nose. Fairly complex. Medium body and high acidity. Slightly expansive warm finish, grainy. Up to 3 year.”
*Decanter Magazine, July 2007 *