- 2017 Duck Pond Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley (Oregon) $9.99 (@Costco; California)
Why yes, I am in fact riffing on the Jackson 5 tune there in the headline!
In this case, I am also riffing on the acronym for “Anything But Chardonnay” as this grape variety, and this wine in particular, is a nice refreshing alternative to new world Chardonnays.
Now some wine geeks – it takes one to know one! – might take me to task for contrasting Pinot Gris with Pinot Grigio, because the two are, in fact, the same grape variety. It just so happens that in the old world (predominantly Italy) the wines are labeled as Pinot Grigio whereas in the new world (California, the Pacific Northwest, Argentina and New Zealand) it goes by the name Pinot Gris. (Note: there are exceptions to this rule as France and and Austria also bottle wines under the Pinot Gris name, and they are considered “old world” wine producing countries.)
Pinot Gris tends to grow well in the same places as Pinot Noir, which is no surprise since the variety is one of the best known mutations of Pinot Noir. In the vineyard, the foliage of each is indistinguishable. Duck Pond is especially well known for their Pinot Noir bottlings. The winery brings their same skill to their Pinot Gris, which was awarded 91 points by the Wine Enthusiast and which rated it #3 in their Top 100 best buys.
This is an expressive and floral wine with great acidity. It has jasmine and honeysuckle notes on the nose and notes of lemon zest, nectarine and crisp minerality on the palate.
Given its sub-$10 price point and its versatility with a wide range of foods, it would be a fine choice for holiday parties, holiday gifts, and your holiday table.