Thursday, March 19, 2015

Villa Maria 2010 Private Bin Pinot Gris, East Coast, New Zealand

villa maria 003

This New Zealand Pinot Gris was the second of two Villa Maria wines that we picked up on clearance at Andersons. We really enjoyed the Villa Maria Dry Riesling and hoped this would show just as well.

Green Dragon, my wife and tasting partner, popped this open – or should I say unscrewed. Like many white wines from New Zealand, it has a screw top – but that is certainly not a sign of lower quality.

The real story is what’s inside the bottle. Unfortunately, this wine left Green Dragon underwhelmed.

This wine is off-dry, with grapes coming from the Marlborough, Gisborne and Waipara winegrowing regions. At 5.7% residual sugar, the winery calls this off dry – but we call it too sweet. The wine is also lacking the necessary acidity to balance the sweetness. As a result, you have a medium bodied wine that has a rounded flavor, but a bit flabby.

The wine is aged in stainless steel, which we appreciate in white wines. That allows the true flavor of the grape to shine through unmasked by heavy oak. However, that’s another reason why this is a pretty simple wine.

The flavor notes are of pear and honeysuckle. For those who prefer sweeter wines, this could be a good choice on occasion. We paid about $10 for this, so it certainly won’t bust the budget. However, there are better choices out there for the money. A nice Pinot Gris from Oregon would cost just a few bucks more and deliver a step up in quality.

Rating: 1.5 of 5  Value: 2 of 5

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