I am a little fussy about my Pinot Gris. Those made in the more neutral Italian style (and so generally labelled Pinot Grigio) I find lacking in interest. This may be the fault of English pubs, who for so long served dull, dull, and cheap Pinot Grigio as the standard house offering. But those made in the more textural (wine wanker word, I know!), savoury and intense Alsace style (labelled Pinot Gris) I do find myself getting along with. The Adelaide Hills in particular appears to be a happy hunting ground for this style of Pinot Gris. My experience thus far leads me to believe that these are wines that generally benefit drinking young and that the wineries that are getting ‘it’ right are getting ‘it’ right consistently.
Deviation Road is one such winery. I am a huge fan of Kate and Hamish Laurie’s Longwood outfit (although, despite living about half an hour down the road, I’ve never got myself to the cellar door). I’ve been lucky enough to sample their new releases a couple of years in a row, and around the middle of last year I interviewed Kate for an essay. Kate is probably the easiest interviewee I’ve dealt with ever.
So I have a massive soft spot for these wines. I was impressed by the 2013 Pinot Gris so I was keen to have a look at the 2014. In addition, I’d very recently tasted the Pinot Gris which had picked up several gongs at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show. I’d been rather underwhelmed by that wine but I was interested to see how the Deviation Road equivalent (at almost twice the price) would stack up.
In brief, the Deviation Road more than stacks up. I would much rather have, enjoy and savour one bottle of the Deviation Road Pinot Gris than the equivalent two bottles of the medal winner. This just proves to me (yet again) that while wine shows have their place, punters need to be aware that not every wine is entered and the show results are best viewed as a rough guide, rather than a definitive state of the nation.
The nose shows quite pronounced pear and pear drop characters, with some green apple and slight melon.
The palate shows off the pear – ripe, but not overripe and none of the potentially confected pear drop that I saw on the nose. Green apple, citrus and an all important touch of warm spice all make an appearance. There is good acidity, coupled with excellent mouth feel and texture as well as good length.
I think that this wine more than demonstrates that it’s possible to buy wine that is both approachable and classy. With a recommended retail price of $28 it may not fall into your every day drinking price bracket but it is definitely worth every penny.
Sample, RRP $28. Deviation Road is distributed by Negociants so it shouldn’t be too hard to track down and you can buy the 2013 through the Deviation Road website.