Top 6 Pinot Gris


Pinot Gris can be so versatile, from bone dry style showing off minerals and citrus to lush style with succulent fruit, accompanied by spices and an unctuous mouthfeel. Other than playing with sweet or dry style, creating texture plays a huge part in styles, too.

Ostler Audrey's Pinot Gris 2016 was especially intriguing, wild fermented in old demi-muid barrels created a very fine texture line, reminiscent of a fine Burgundy, showing off its Waitaki calcareous minerality with nuances of flint and oyster shells yet have perfectly balanced sugar and acidity; in an off-dry style, carrying spices and creamy lees characters. At four years of age, the wine is incredibly fresh.

The Elder Natural Pinot Gris 2020 spent 11 days on skins, extracting that beautiful bright orange colour, along with a complex range of herbaceous characters and phenolics, makes a mealy palate and an incredible food match for a wide range of food.

A relatively new label Coxs' Vineyard in Gibbston, Central Otago managed to transmit the beauty of Gibbston into the wine with lots of pretty subtleties and balance in a hotter vintage of 2018.

So far, 2020 proofs to be a great vintage for Pinot Gris, four of the new releases made it to the Top 6, they all have lovely concentrations and purity of fruit, all dry in style with a decent amount of alcohol in immaculate balance, great potential to develop and gain more complexity over the next 3-5 years.

Below are my detailed reviews on the Top 6 Pinot Gris from 2020 tastings:


  • Ostler Audrey’s Pinot Gris 2016, Waitaki Valley
  • Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2020, Central Otago
  • Grasshopper Rock Pinot Gris 2020, Central Otago
  • The Elder Natural Pinot Gris 2020, Martinborough
  • Q Wine Pinot Gris 2020, Waitaki Valley
  • Coxs’ Vineyard Gibbston Pinot Gris 2018, Central Otago

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