Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris: Italia or Domestica? A Simple Comparison

On the very last day (Sunday) of the Fall 2013 GO sale, I bought these two Pinot Gris/Grigios at the Silverdale GO.  I had tasted them both (the Luna at the Bremerton GO and the Pirate, the next night at the Silverdale GO) and enjoyed each for what they had to offer.  They are both from the 2011 vintage, so it seemed natural to try them at home side-by-side.  Here are my notes:

IMG_13042011 Luna Di Luna Private Collection Pinot Grigio, Vignetti Delle Dolomiti  $4.99: Clear pale straw; fragrant nose of spiced pear, grapefruit and earth.  Flavors show more pear, grapefruit, earthy, flinty minerality and tart lemon.  Plenty of fruit, but nicely balanced with just slightly less than racy acidity.  Light and flavorful and an excellent food wine.

2011 Blue Pirate Columbia Valley Pinot Gris (Oregon?  WA?  Both?)  $3.99: Clear pale straw.  Intensely fruity nose of pear, tangerine and a certain floral quality.  Soft and light on the front of the palate with more fruity pear and citrus flavors that conclude with a cleansing tart, lemony finish.  Fruity, but clean and bone dry.IMG_1306

This comparison was fun!  The similarities in these two PG’s is obvious…to me.  Yet the styles, while alike are still very different.  I enjoyed the austerity of the Italian, but also really enjoyed the fruit of the NW version.  And it was even more interesting to see the differences in how well they accompanied my bastardized version of paella that I made for dinner.  The Italian PG won hands down because the fruitiness of the domestic PG accentuated the more metallic qualities of the cod and mussels in the dish, which my wife and I didn’t particularly like.  The Luna was a more harmonious partner with the fruiti di mare (seafood).  I really like both these wines, even though Pinot Gris can be a tough sell.  So they both get a “Thumbs Up” from me.

I could find nothing of the 2011 Blue Pirate online.  The Precept Brand site identifies only an Oregon Pinot Gris with no particular vintage.  And those grapes all came from Oregon: from vineyards in the north (Dundee), central (Turner, southeast of Salem), and southern (Roseburg) parts of the state.  The 2011 from Columbia Valley could be from lots of places, as that valley extends across the WA border into northeastern Oregon.  As with many Precept wines, it was “produced and bottled in Walla Walla, WA”.  My apologies for this long-winded review, but I sometimes write like I talk.


3 thoughts on “Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris: Italia or Domestica? A Simple Comparison

  1. permiesworld

    Opened another of the Luna di Luna PC PG’s last night, it’s still drinking so nicely. In fact, I think it’s a bit smoother now than before, also a bit more open. Still an excellent white. May be my very favorite ever from GO. Down to my last bottle. I think it still has plenty of life left in it. Surprisingly.

  2. permiesworld

    Back when you reviewed this 2011 Luna Di Luna Private Collection Pinot Grigio, I bought several bottles (after tasting the first and loving it). I can’t believe it was almost a year ago. We had another bottle tonight (down to my last two) and it was still very tasty. I’m sad to see it go. It was one of my most reliable whites this summer.


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