Firestone 2009 Pinot Gris ($4)

Central Coast, CA; 13.5% ABV
Purchased 4/19/2013 at the Oakland, CA store

Firestone 2009 Pinot GrisA fresh, fruity nose – juicy white peach, Comice pear, honeydew, hint of quince. Ripe acidity and a little spritz balances the Spätlese sugar level. Reminiscent of a decent German or Alsatian Pinot Gris, with a bit more canned fruit cocktail character. Rich, buttery malolactic flavor on the palate, offset with some citron. A fairly simple, fruit-forward, easy-to-like wine for uncomplicated quaffing. Goes down a bit too easily for its alcohol level in fact. By Day 2 it had settled down a bit, mostly getting more boring and coming across a little flabby. A Thumbs Up but drink now/don’t think about it too much kinda wine.

This will work as a crowd pleaser for those not fond of austere dry whites or with a zingy dish that cuts through the wine and/or has richness to balance, Thai chili-lime-coconut shrimp comes to mind. I might buy it again if I were in the market for such a wine but am not heading back for a case. Reminds me in its good aspects of a Villa Wolf Pinot Blanc I got at the Berkeley store a few years ago and DID run back for a case, only to find a lot of bottle variation. But the Wolf at its best had more flavor depth and that je ne sais quoi, just the right composition that keeps you coming back for another sip. However, it’s not the Wolf, it’s a Firestone, a semi-mass-produced wine but definitely a good value at this price – if you like this sorta wine.


5 thoughts on “Firestone 2009 Pinot Gris ($4)

  1. lim13

    Opened a bottle of this tonight, 3/19/14. My notes: Clear pale golden and showing some tartaric crystals at the bottom of the glass. Subtle varietally characteristic spiced pear notes on the nose with a touch of vanilla; slightly soft on the front of the palate with some heat at mid-palate and some bitterness in the finish. Flavors of more pear and bitter almond. O.K., but lacking the acidity I’d prefer in a Pinot Gris. I have one bottle left, but this would not be a repeat buy for me.

    1. jwc

      You know, 5 yrs on a pinot gris is a bit of a stretch, I was a little concerned last year, at 4 yrs when I tasted this, but I found it tasty at the time. A lot can change over a 9-10 month period with any wine, but more so for a white, if you’ve got them, drink ’em.

  2. T.A

    I really liked this wine a lot. I was surprised too because some Pinot Gris have a bland taste. But, I liked the fruitiness and agree with your review. Good stuff 🙂 I love this site!

  3. jwc

    I think dluber’s review is pretty much spot on, I didn’t get the butter on my bottle, more of a cream texture, a nice gris and ideal for the warm weather we are experiencing here in Portland right now. Enjoyed this wine a couple months ago in Calif. and have seen it here recently. Should be around for the sale, even a better buy. This and the House Wine white are the only remotely interesting whites I have seen lately, Calif and WA seem to be getting some better options….

    1. dluber Post author

      I’ll go with creamy – something dairy there. (Wisconsin board of tourism says: Come Smell Our Dairy Air 😉
      “Butter” was lazy describing on my part; true butter aroma is mainly diacetyl, a strong, unique note; I might have said something like creme fraiche to be more precise, but didn’t want to be pretentious using French words and all…but it’s a minor player – this wine is all about fresh fruit.


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