When I was last chatting to my chums Jeremy and Gernot about my trip to Alsace they suggested that they could not see the point of Pinot Gris. I couldn’t agree less. OK, if you get a flabby, sugar-laced offering from someone like Zind-Humbrecht it can be difficult to match with food; indeed I’d go as far as saying Pinot Gris like that are bloody hard to drink. However, drier, more balanced offerings with good acidity can match food very well. This bottle will slip down a treat with the chicken in cider I am cooking. It has weight, but lively acidity and minerality; a good match for the rich flavours in the food. I do agree that Alsace Riesling is often the way forward, but to dismiss Pinot Gris is a mistake; pleasure takes many forms.
Pinot Gris Grand Cru Brand 2006, Domaine Albert Boxler
A lovely, charming nose of ripe, peachy fruit with a backbone of good minerality. This smells fleshy and very attractive, which a good measure of complexity. The palate is basically dry, with plenty of pleasing fruit, very good acidity for a wine of this scale and damned-good vineyard character. The Brand Grand Cru is a top site for Pinot Gris, and Jean Boxler has extracted the very best quality from it for this wine. Of course, it needs drinking within the next 18 months or so; Pinot Gris doesn’t age. I suppose if that was the point the Jeremy and Gernot were trying to make I’d have to agree, but I don’t think the point of a wine rests with its longevity.