Pinot Grigio is the common Italian name for the French variety Pinot Gris. A mutation of Pinot Noir, it typically makes gently perfumed, fruity white wines. Despite being responsible for a sea of reasonably undistinguished wines, it has acquired a huge popular following internationally. There were 276.4ha of it in South Africa at the end of 2011, making it the 24th most planted variety.
Two newly released local examples:
Hill & Dale Pinot Grigio 2012: 14.5/20
Recommended retail price: R39
Very expressive on the nose with notes of peach, litchis and yellow roses. The palate is juicy with relatively soft acidity and a rather short finish. Not unappealing but entirely straightforward.
Two Oceans Pinot Grigio: 13.5/20
Recommended retail price: R30
Neutral on the nose and palate. Clean and fresh but lacking any distinctive character. Utterly generic.
Who drinks this stuff? I wondered on tasting these two examples. And then I answered my own question. Desperate housewives…