A close cousin of Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, more commonly known as Pinot Gris is a white grape variety with grey-pink berries that is widely planted in north-eastern Italy. It grows in temperate zones and extends to Central Europe and the rest of the world. In Alsace, it is a clear success to date having achieved the greatest increase in vine surface area since 1980. Formerly it was called AOC Tokay d'Alsace, because it was reminiscent of the Hungarian Tokay Pinot Gris. The regulatory system ruled to replace the AOC by that of Alsace Pinot Gris, because in this region it is the grapes that give name to the mono-cepage appellations. Pinot Gris is not very fertile, which leads it to be highly valued for its subtle and racy wines. It gives dry or sweet white wines (very sweet wine: Alsace Vendanges Tardives; sweet wine: Alsace Sélection Grains Nobles), and more rarely for its rosé wines.
Alsace Sélection Grains Nobles, Alsace Vendanges Tardives
Pale yellow in colour, taking on a golden hue when the grain is fully ripe. Low acidity, it is the roundness which prevails. Aromas of white, yellow (apricot), dry and exotic fruits (mango), floral and spicy notes (cinnamon, cumin) that are consolidated on the palate. Depending on the terroir, varies between a supple wine (Italy) and a complex wine (Alsace).
Vendanges Tardives AOC and Alsace Sélection Grains Nobles: Great delicacy. A typical golden yellow colour, reflecting the over-ripeness of the grapes. Powerful wine with a nose that hints at the flavors of ripe fruit (apricot, quince, baked apple), sweet spices (cinnamon), honey and sometimes undergrowth (wild mushroom) or animal (musk). Ample wine with a lot of body, heady. Not very acidic, it is appreciated for its voluptuousness and generosity.
Rare, "vin gris (grey)" or "gris de gris", produced in the Centre-Loire. Vinified like white wine by direct pressing without maceration of the skins. Colour varies from orange to pale pink. Nose dominated by citrus fruits (tangerine), peach, apricot. Round in the mouth
Aperitif, tapas, seafood (crab rillettes, prawns), poultry liver terrine, pâté...
Aperitif, foie gras, poultry, sweet and sour dishes such as Asian cuisine. Desserts: Crème brûlée, fruit tarts, spiced bread.