The end of 2020 is nigh, which means you need to sort out what wines to bring to New Year’s Eve. And if you haven’t tried some of the best wines of the year yet, it’s not too late.
Sure, there’s seasonality to things. December spells great holiday beers and hearty dinner recipes. But some drinks, like a well-crafted Pinot Gris, are always welcome. The agreeable variety does well with all kinds of food and is brisk and refreshing when made well. Unsurprisingly, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio remain one of the most popular white wines on the planet.
Made from relatively high-elevation fruit, this wine is as crisp and lively as they come. You’ll feel like you’re in the foothills of northern Italy, doing as the Italians do.
10. Santa Margherita
Arguably the most popular on the market these days, Santa Margherita deserves a hearty nod for popularizing the grape. The brand’s Pinot Grigio remains a solid buy that’s widely available. If you want something iconic and easy to drink, this is your white wine.
9. Marco Felluga Mongris Pinot Grigio Collio
The Collio region of northeastern Italy yields some breathtaking Pinot Grigio and this is a great example. Pop the cork, ready some glasses, and enjoy its generous offering of orchard fruit and nice acidity.
A trustworthy Pinot Gris year in and year out, Acrobat always outdoes itself. The price suggests table wine but the luminous flavors suggest something else entirely. Buy it by the case and enjoy it year round.
7. Alois Lageder
With Lageder, you get some flair, as it tends to show a bit more in the way of spice notes on the palate and floral aromatics. It’s pleasant, medium in weight, and has enough going on to surprise even the friend or family member who claims to only drink reds.
6. Cantina Tramin
This Italian Pinot Grigio is clean and zesty with a nice soft layer of ripe fruit. It’s very tasty on its own but all the better with some shellfish, creamy cheese, or a citrus poultry dish of some kind.
5. Domaine Andre Kientzler
A well-known Alsace producer, Domaine Andre Kientzler makes a lovely Pinot Gris commanded by pure fruit notes and firm acidity. You’ll love how alive these wines are, packed to the brim with tropical fruit flavors and an always agreeable texture.
4. Antiquum Farm
One of the most fascinating labels in the Pacific Northwest, Antiquum Farm is responsible for some outstanding Pinot Gris. The label benefits from grazing based viticulture on the estate, meaning sheep tend the vineyard rows as well, keeping the microbial life happy and flourishing. And the vines, and resulting wines, clearly benefit from the approach.
3. Elena Walch
You can set your watch to the reliably tasty Alto Adige Pinot Grigio of Elena Walch. Not only is it fresh and well-rounded, the wine resonates. You’ll be amazed by the lasting finish and punchy acidity. It’s a wine that simply bursts with flavor and structure.
2. Ronco Blanchis
Another major force out of Collio, Ronco Blanchis captures the most captivating aspects of a good Grigio. Bright, grassy, pear-driven, and guided by minerality, it’s an outstanding wine and maybe even underpriced (but we aren’t complaining).
1. The Eyrie Vineyards
Eyrie was the first to plant in the Willamette Valley. The spotlight was and remains on Pinot Noir but in the Dundee Hills the family found the perfect growing conditions for America’s first Pinot Gris planting. The label continues to be the New World gold standard for the varietal, producing one that’s brisk, balanced, and just plain enjoyable to drink.
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